The Flayed City by Hari Alluri
Hari Alluri has been described by US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera as a writer who "carries a new, quiet brush of multi-currents, of multi-worlds to paint this holographic life-scape." In The Flayed City, he offers an intimate look into the lives of city dwellers and immigrants in a collection of charged poems that sweep together "an archipelago song" scored by memory and landscape, history and mythology, desire and loss. Driven by what is residual—displacement, family, violent yet delicate masculinity, undervalued yet imperative work—Alluri's lines quiver with the poet's distinctive rendering of praise and lament steeped with "gravity and blood" where "the smell of ants being born surrounds us" and "city lights form constellations // invented to symbolize war." The Flayed City offers a powerful glimpse into a secondary world whose cities, cultural histories and trajectories are hybrids or "immigrated" versions of this one.