"It's missing": damn you, Missing Person and the Material History of the Postcolonial Poem

Emma Bird


This chapter examines the history of modern Indian poetry in English, paying particular attention to the poets and contexts that have no prominent place in its better known narratives. I begin by reflecting on little magazines, using the experimental damn you as a case study in order to trace the varied influences on poets in the 1960s. I then introduce a close reading of the sequence Missing Person by Adil Jussawalla, showing that this text bears witness to the circumstances of its own production. The little magazine and the individual poem demand an attentiveness to materiality and history, enriching a critical understanding of a literary canon and its context.


postcolonial poetry; little magazines; Arvind Krishna Mehrotra; Adil Jussawalla

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