Publication date 24th March 2017
Paperback, 80 pp
DCF: Poetry Collections
From politics to pop, from the UK to California, wherever digital heartbeats flutter and stutter, Ticker-tape is a maximalist take on 21st century living. Rishi Dastidar’s first full collection showcases one of contemporary poetry’s most distinctive voices, delivering effervescence with equal servings of panache and whiplash-quick wit.
Here is sheer madcap ingenuity and also impressive breadth; ranging from odes of love to deconstructed diversity campaigns and detonations of banter’s worst excesses, plus appearances from ex-SugaBabes, a shark who comes to tea, to the matters of matchstick empires and national identity. Ticker-tape is bold, adventuresome and wry – an unmissable and irrepressible debut.
'The heart of Rishi Dastidar’s Ticker-tape pulses with an extended litany where a wandering from “my flash exquisites” to “my wonder ground” becomes a rave in “my zone of disobedience” and “my balsam hopes,” an all-night bash in “my panoramic protest” and “My city. My belonging.” How moving, how kinetic a debut—and how unlike anything I’ve ever read. This is a collection of exuberant juxtapositions and form-defying poems that dares us to reconfigure our default trusts and remaps how we understand what's become of us—we avatars and algorithms, we wishful “wearers of crowns.” Dastidar's speakers do more than just contain multitudes; in Ticker-tape, our multitudes split and collide, code-switch and conjure.' - R.A. Villanueva, author of Reliquaria
‘Rishi Dastidar’s extraordinary debut collection, Ticker-tape introduces a distinctive new voice in poetry. This is a generously spirited collection with poems seething in tingly wit and pushing at the outer edges of what is possible in poetry. There really is no one else currently writing poetry quite like this.’ – Mona Arshi
‘These poems are perfected eccentricities who dance through the techno world. Urban wit rubs alongside innovative love poetry. Dastidar is at home “forglopned", in his “blipverts", on the way to Stavanger without a signal, enjoying a "Potluck Kinfolk style” or selling love at the Tsukiji fish market. Wherever he is, whatever he’s up to, I declare Dastidar to be one of the most ingenious, modern, thrilling, hilarious and tender poets writing today.’ - Daljit Nagra
‘I’ve been trying to put my finger on exactly what I love so much about this collection and I think it’s partly the soul, the beating heart beneath the stricken humour and energy. One thing which sets Dastidar apart is his meticulous focus on our contemporary diction and euphemisms, the formulations and codes we use in spite of ourselves, “too many voices to reconcile”. In Ticker-tape they become both the manifestations and withholding of our unconscious desires, and there is an urgency, a fear even, to the poems, which are nonetheless driven by a fearless compassion, a wit and constant invention which can never quite be undone by our every yearning being marketed back to us. It is an assured, inspired debut and this is a new voice I’ll be eagerly anticipating work from for decades to come.' – Luke Kennard
Rishi Dastidar was educated at Mansfield College, Oxford University and the London School of Economics. His poetry has been published by the Financial Times, Tate Modern and the Southbank Centre amongst many others, and has featured in the anthologies Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins) and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe). A fellow of The Complete Works, the Arts Council England funded programme for BAME poets in the UK, he is a consulting editor at The Rialto magazine, a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective, and also serves as a chair of the writer development organization Spread The Word.