Vahni Capildeo

Short bio

Vahni Capildeo is a Trinidadian Scottish poet. They are a Heaney Centre Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast and will be Writer in Residence at the University of the West Indies in 2020. Capildeo’s seven books and five pamphlets include Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet), which won the Forward Poetry Prizes Best Collection award and was nominated for the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2016. Odyssey Calling will be published by Sad Press in winter 2019.

Long bio

Trinidadian Scottish writer Vahni Capildeo’s seven books and five pamphlets extend from prose poetry into immersive theatre. Their DPhil in Old Norse and translation theory, and their involvement in Caribbean traditional masquerade, underpin a multi-layered, multilingual approach, which is as much concerned with place as with time. Capildeo’s work has been honoured by the Cholmondeley Award and the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection. Capildeo has held the Judith E. Wilson Fellowship and the Harper-Wood Studentship at the University of Cambridge, the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellowship in Poetry at the University of Leeds, and a UNESCO Poetry Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. Capildeo, a former contributing editor of the Caribbean Review of Books, is a contributing adviser to Blackbox Manifold, and has guest-edited a special issue of Stand Magazine (autumn 2019), themed on ecopoetics. Capildeo’s non-fiction, on topics such as microtravel and citizenship, is widely published. They write a regular report for PN Review. Their new pamphlet, Odyssey Calling (Sad Press, forthcoming 2019) touches on seas, seals, silences, the Odyssey, the Windrush, Buile Suibhne, and the history of coffee. New projects include a book of essays for Carcanet Press. Capildeo is a Seamus Heaney Centre Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast (2019-20) and will be the University of the West Indies Writer in Residence at the St Augustine Campus (2020).

Publications

No Traveller Returns (Salt Publishing, 2003) https://www.saltpublishing.com/products/no-traveller-returns-9781876857882

Person Animal Figure (Landfill Press, 2005) [out of print]

Undraining Sea (Egg Box Publishing, 2009) [out of print; rights reverted to the author]

All Your Houses (Alice Yard, 2011) [limited edition artists’ book]

Dark & Unaccustomed Words (Egg Box Publishing, 2012) [out of print; rights reverted to the author]

Utter (Peepal Tree, 2013) https://www.peepaltreepress.com/books/utter

Simple Complex Shapes (Shearsman Books, 2015) https://www.shearsman.com/store/Vahni-Capildeo-Simple-Complex-Shapes-p102838580

Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet Press, 2016) https://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9781784101688

Seas and Trees (Recent Work Press, 2017) https://recentworkpress.com/product/seas-and-trees/

Venus as a Bear (Carcanet Press, 2018) https://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9781784105549

Skin Can Hold (Carcanet Press, 2019) https://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9781784107314

Odyssey Calling (Sad Press, 2019) https://sadpresspoetry.com/our-books/

Upcoming events and forthcoming publications

20-21 June, Kendal Poetry Festival http://www.kendalpoetryfestival.co.uk/

Further information

Please contact Vahni Capildeo via Carcanet Press, Peepal Tree Press, or the Society of Authors.