EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: PUNEET DUTT

Wild State by Puneet Dutt

…understand yourself as rendered hypervisible
in the face of such language acts.”
-Claudia Rankine

when you lasso    voice
down from a country
rope
burns the flesh
mother or the grandfather
die
dirty words
hang with friends
in backseats
when it
forks at school where the teacher
sits on the same word
the same word
say it    say it
repeat after me
after me
until it splinters   the tongue
gas instead of petrol
gas
say it    gas
not petrol
the operator can’t understand
spell out your name again?
your name
when they recommend
you correct

from The Better Monsters by Puneet Dutt, shortlisted for the 2018 Raymond Souster Award
Mansfield Press | 2017 | 68 Page | $17.00 | Purchase online

Puneet Dutt received her MA in English from Ryerson University. She is the author of the chapbook PTSD south beach (Grey Borders Books), which was a Finalist for the 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize (Phantom Books). Her work has been published in a number of journals and in Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. She was born in India and raised in New Jersey. She now resides in Toronto with her husband, where she is an editorial board member at Canthius and a creative writing workshop facilitator with the Toronto Writers Collective. She can be found online at puneetdutt.com.