- Paperback: 44 pages
- Publisher: Finishing Line Press (March 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1635341604
- ISBN-13: 978-1635341607
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#2,637,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #41643 in Poetry (Books)
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Gas & Food, No Lodging Paperback – March 3, 2017
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Here are poems burnished by unquiet rage, fragments of subtle humor drenched in irony and sorrow. Here are lyrical forms gleaming with wry intelligence and a fierce originality.
Here is a collection poised to snap you out of your daydreams and into an alert wonder about this strange, familiar world.
—Elizabeth Rosner, author of Electric City and Gravity
There are women and girls out there who are lost on a highway, who resort to the wiles of fairies and wicked stepmothers; to vengeful exes and adoring aunts. The road trip of Gas & Food, No Lodging travels the interstate of precise form, indelible language, and a music that rivals the wind. Devi Laskar has created a tryptic of dreams that is interpreted through mythologies as beloved as Persephone and Scheherazade and as twisted and as misfit as rubberneckers on a highway and dieters in a support group. Beneath the hardened images lay a loneliness underscored by a foreignness—not just to the country, the state, the road in-between, but also to the family and to the self. Devi Laskar says in Unanswered/Untranslatable/ “Memory is praise and plundered...” and in this solid and indelible collection, memory is also vexing and determined. Every word, every stanza, every verse holds strong.
—Elmaz Abinader, Author, This House, My Bones
Devi S. Laskar is a poet who deserves wider readership. She’s been toiling in the fields of poetry for many years now yielding poems that explore American culture in conflict with her Indian cultural identity; her woman self; and her need to write. Writing transforms her complicated modern life allowing in the mythic from Persephone to Ra. In her witty and masterful poem, “The All-Saints, GA, Overeaters Support Group/meeting #18” food connects to a variety of myths regarding the body, community and memory—from watermelons to pomegranates. The title poem, “Gas & Food, No Lodging” shows the poet in full American trope: “No one comes in to loiter. One buys beer, no candy./ The traffic light never turns yellow or red. Just Get-n-Go.”—What is left as we leave one part of our lives for the promise of something new, different, that possible success. Laskar understands how mortality is differently perceived, and she often looks back to a culture that is thousands of years older than ours and what that offers—the tension from this knowledge lends her poems a kind poignant humor and bitter wisdom. Gas & Food, No Lodging will serve the poet well as she gains her much deserved wider readership.
—Patricia Spears Jones, author of A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems and Painkiller
About the Author
Devi S. Laskar's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Atlanta Review, The Squaw Valley Review, The North American Review, Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, among others. The Raleigh Review nominated "Untitled Western Country Song in Rubescent A Minor" for Meridian's Best New Poets 2016. The Blue Heron Review nominated "Most Days a Passage" for Sundress' Best of the Net Anthology 2016. Poet Jessica Piazza recently selected "Dissection" and "What Namaste Really Means" as the winning entries for the poetry prize at the 27th Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, and those poems are forthcoming in the next issue of Noyo River Review. Ms. Laskar's poetry explores the questions of identity and race and what it means to be in exile in your own country. She writes of the politics of race and gender and not belonging in both the Deep South of the United States where she was born and raised, and in India, where she spent many summers as a child and adolescent visiting her extended family. Ms. Laskar holds an MFA from Columbia University in New York, an MA in South & West Asian Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in journalism and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a former journalist, covering crime and government for newspapers such as The Raleigh News & Observer (NC), The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) and Gannett Company papers, The News-Press (FL) and The Commercial-News (IL) and Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI). She is also an artist and photographer. Recently, one of her photographs was featured on the cover of The Florida Review, and she has had other photographs published or forthcoming in the pages of Tiferet Journal and The Blue Heron Review. She is an alumna of both TheOpEdProject and VONA/Voices, and is at work on a novel about police violence as it intersects with a lingering climate of social racism. She now lives in California.