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Instructions for Banno

Instructions for Banno


Kiran Bath

This book will be shipping in late July 2024.

    2024, 66 pages

    ISBN: 978-0-99-702549-1



    In her debut poetry collection, Kiran Bath travels through the timelines and geographies of the women in her family to understand the inherited consequences of becoming a South Asian bride (banno). Threading stories of pre-partition matriarchs, migrant mothers, and first generation daughters, she renders themes of subjugation, domestic violence, honor killings, and infanticide alongside unrequited love, sisterhood, motherhood, and devotion in cathartic form. The result is the set of instructions left for BANNO, a diary that ruptures the institution of filial duty and embodies the tradition that survives it—an insistence for declaring our humanity.



    Kiran Bath is the author of INSTRUCTIONS FOR BANNO (Kelsey Street Press, 2024). She has received fellowships and support from Poets House, the Vermont Studio Center and Brooklyn Poets. Kiran is a Kundiman Fellow and a Tin House alumnus. Her writing appears in wildness, The Adroit Journal, The Brooklyn Rail, and other journals. Raised in Sydney, she still calls Australia home and claims Punjab as the cradle. Kiran is currently based in Brooklyn.


    Kiran Bath's INSTRUCTIONS FOR BANNO is a profoundly moving work of prose. Through ritual, performance, and syntax, this is a book that shatters the crystallization patterns that familial and sexual trauma bring. How does it do this? Incantation: "I waited for Kali. I revived, I survived, I revive, I survive." Each Banno, each field note, each instruction, each attempt to write what could not be written before: make a pathway from creativity to survival. The last lines, when you reach them, will touch the middle of your heart, I hope. As they touched mine.



    The age old concerns of how to be part of a family, and also one’s own person, are given new life here in Kiran Bath’s delightful debut collection. These poems are at turns lush, defiant, modern and ancient, a lively and loving record reminding us that life is designed as much as it is inherited. “I save everything,” Bath writes, “I do not seek rebirth. I am accumulating.” These lines are a mere glimpse of the strong and sophisticated speakers whose voices we are fortunate enough to encounter in this daring debut.


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