Pilgrim to No Country

Pilgrim to No Country is a skillful, high-energy, visionary debut poetry collection. Anvesh Jain, reliving his childhood immigration from Delhi to Calgary over and over, reimagines home with humour and wisdom. From the primordial to the present, from alienation to acceptance, Jain enacts a mythic clashing of worlds: “Self-immolation at Banff – / Burn me, burn it all. Spread my ashes / From Peace Bridge … // Bring me back to New Delhi, / Where air cremates my tongue, / Where it is brown and dirty / And unblinded by white snow.” Balancing critique of empire, love for his new homeland, and longing for the old world, Jain’s Pilgrim to No Country makes you laugh out loud and then leaves you haunted.

Praise for Pilgrim to No Country

Published by Frontenac House Press

“Anvesh Jain invites us into the in-between world of a suburban Calgary childhood steeped in a South Asian past. The terrain teems with memory and myth, backyard cricket games, and fragrant oceans of chai. Sensual, tender, at times angry and wry, these poems travel through Jain’s two homelands and ‘the many-named universe’ of himself, claiming a place of wholeness and joyful possibility.”

“An outstanding debut. Defiantly of its time and place, Pilgrim to No Country is nonetheless poetry for any country, language that feels alive from a smart observer of his and our world.”

“Circumventing the arbitrary borders that are imposed on the human spirit, Jain shows us there is humour, enthusiasm, and hope to be found in the transcendence of boundary.”

“Anvesh Jain’s debut poetry collection takes the reader on a fascinating journey to his diasporic poetic landscape, exploring personal memory and the essential aesthetic truth in life. And the journey converges to create something lyrical, poetic and true.”

“This is a wide-ranging and engaging work—a notable contribution to current diasporic texts.”

Anvesh Jain

Anvesh Jain is a law student at the University of Ottawa.

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