Underworld Lit

TLS Books of the Year 2020

"Flamboyantly risky, formally daring and profoundly relevant ... explores transnationalism and comparative literatures while ventriloquizing our 21st-century zeitgeist of restlessness and insecurity."
--Forrest Gander, in The New York Times

"A brilliantly mordant, Sebaldian satire on modern academia."
--Jeremy Noel-Tod, in the Times Literary Supplement

"Large-hearted, time-traveling, translational, metempsychotic . . ."
--Maureen McLane, in Public Books

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New Yorker Culture Desk: Best Poetry of 2011 
National Public Radio 2011’s Best American Poetry
Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Poetry for 2011 
The Believer Readers’ Favorite Poetry in 2011

"Srikanth Reddy's Voyager unwinds at a hypnotic pace, as inexorable as a set of philosophic propositions, yet also strangely porous, like poetry. Gradually we come to understand words spoken by Escher in the poem, 'formal objectivity / might be / a personal matter,' but by then it's too late: we're hooked. It's is a work unlike any other, deeply moving, disturbing, and ultimately fulfilling."

—John Ashbery

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Facts for Visitors

2005 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry

"In this altogether brilliant collection, the various but carefully sequenced (and deeply consequential) poems unfold in a world undergoing eclipse. It is a transient, unsettling, and fascinating phenomenon, the casting of shadows by shadows (of experience, literature, language, the natural sun) traveling across the totality of the known world: here. The process does not produce negation. It is, on the contrary, an odd plus. And the darkness is never complete; it is surprised into perceptibility by sources of counter-illumination, among them wit, intelligence, and, above all (as underlying all), love."—Lyn Hejinian

"The present is a word for only those words which I am now saying" writes Reddy in this profoundly moving first collection. And, indeed, a search for the nature of the 'present' continuously animates this stunning, anguished yet level-headed attempt to reconstruct a history of our kind as if from some as-yet unknown vantage point. Striving for a complex objectivity, the book explodes prior notions of orientation—geographic, historical, cultural—and recovers from the debris a profoundly trustworthy reorientation, political as well as emotional. Reddy speaks to us fully self-conscious and, strangely, fully innocent. It is a mesmerizing voice."—Jorie Graham

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Changing Subjects

"True poetry goes where it will, and rarely by the shortest available path: Reddy's remarkable study shows how modern and contemporary poets make way for digression, and how their digressions work against familiar categories and hierarchies, reorganizing--as well as disarranging--our senses of reality en route. Marianne Moore's new model of education, Lyn Hejinian's disordered anti-plots, Frank O'Hara's casual conversations, and John Ashbery's figures for drifts and flows all lead, in Reddy's vivid arguments, not only into one another but into a high tide of twenty-first century work. This first book of criticism from a significant poet can both instruct and delight: it might even change a number of critical minds." --Stephen Burt, author of Close Calls with Nonsense

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