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The Goldfish by Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi

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The Goldfish is a sumptuous, surreal exploration of femininity. The poet inhabits the voice of a goldfish through a series of linguistically experimental poems which plunge us into the glass bowl and invite us to gaze out.

The poems are in turn sensual, spiky, and queasy, as the poet satirizes the patriarchy and issues a rallying cry for women broken down by society. Halfway through the book, the scope opens out to the world beyond the goldfish bowl, via the story of a free spirit passing through customs, a paean “to our white husbands”, and a letter which heals old wounds.

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