Cover of In Another Country by Rafiq Kathwari

Book Review: In Another Country by Rafiq Kathwari

A review of In Another Country by Sadiq Shaban appeared in the Khaleej Times, Dec 31, 2015

Rafiq Kathwari is unique in more than one way. A Kashmiri poet, who writes in English, spent his youth in New York and wound up in Ireland to win the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award, Rafiq became the first non-Irish recipient of the prestigious award. In Another Country (Doire Press) is an experience of loss – defined by his mother’s lifelong battle with schizophrenia that forms a recurring theme in the volume.

Among his other influences is Kashmir – his hauntingly beautiful birthplace, which much like the poet’s myriad memories, is jinxed by forces beyond his control. In the very beginning of the collection, you come across Hallucinations, a poem full of echoes of the several worlds Rafiq simultaneously inhabits – America, Kashmir and in his own words – his mother’s mad laments.

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