Vidhu Aggarwal

Vidhu Aggarwal (Poetry) | Orlando, FL

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Vidhu Aggarwal grew up in the Southern U.S. A Kundiman fellow, she is the founding editor of SPECS. Her work has recently appeared in The Boston Review, VIDA, INK BRICK, and The Missing Slate, and will be appearing in Chicago Quarterly Review and Black Warrior Review. Her book of poems The Trouble with Humpadori (2016) received the Editor’s Choice Prize from The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective. She teaches transnational studies and poetry at Rollins College.


The Trouble with Humpadori (The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, 2016). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

The Trouble with Humpadori is a Rabelaisian journey of epic (dis)proportions. Introducing the world to the unforgettable Humpadori—an ontological riddle wrapped in a historical enigma, or vice versa—Aggarwal’s dazzling collection imagines a new kind of poetic subject who embodies the vexing complexities of identity in Anglophone Indian verse. Traveling a literary landscape of mock-interviews, pseudo-manifestos, concrete poetry, and Bollywood marquees, our hapless protagonist discovers that modern India—and our ancient planet—offers little cover for the endlessly unraveling self. Throughout, the comedy and tragedy of identity alike are illuminated by the spotlight of universal longing. “I’d say we’re pretty much all Humpadori,” says Humpadori. For reasons beyond me, I whole-heartedly agree.”
—Srikanth Reddy, Facts for Visitors, Voyager, and Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry

The Trouble with Humpadori is an inter-intra-cultural post post-colonial (& then some) deranged wikidickiepsychopedia tilt-a-whirl carnival screw-ride of creation-decreation myths, unreliable facts, improbable gossip, discoball narratives, pop (& lock) fairy tales & chainsaw allegories, all in some futuristic language not unlike our own.”
—Justin Chin

“Vidhu Aggarwal is a poet of the pineal gland. She transmits-emits like a unicorn technology in the form of an author. Brilliant and wild, she writes. Then writes again.”
—Bhanu Kapil

“Through The Trouble with Humpadori, Vidhu Aggarwal plumps the “Nub” of Mackey’s Splay Anthem to a frothy mound of postcolonialism, dark wit, and gender crit. History is a symptom here and the hump is a sty in gazes, a site to see and misread in this exhilarating collection’s minstrel show sequences, soundtrack playbacks, love notes, and wild spectacles. Poem by poem, form and deformity get addled and ogled—the HUMP makes a body crook, bedecks it with cleavage, leaves speakers “stuffed with lumpiness/. . . bumsome to the nth” but also busting into enflowered sprawls. What a debut! Don’t get over the HUMP, get into it.”
—Douglas Kearney

“In The Trouble with Humpadori, Vidhu Aggarwal goes all “boogie woogie” with the politics of imperialism and racism, wedding abjection and postcolonialism, exuberance and shame. This book explores the accent, the smear and the mangling of language–the “violence of exchange”–while giving us some of the most “debased kerfuckle” around.”
—Johannes Göransson

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