An exploration of the compatibility of human desire with personal ethics is at the heart of Infamous Landscapes, whose voices work both with and against a perceived Wordsworthian innocence. Sharma writes from the experience of a class-displaced, first-Generation Hindoo Romantic, and her landscapes and language follow cannily and whimsically from that position. In these poems Sharma turns away from Romanticism with a disconcerted, feminine shame, one that finds her peering through an enculturated, gendered lens. The landscapes of these poems are urban and “natural,” inasmuch as both inhere in the human psyche as symbol and metaphor.
“The author of Infamous Landscapes is a poet all the time. This work, fueled by an intimate involvement with other humans—their real and imagined ways and means and environments—is very natural and nuanced. These poems seem to live everywhere we’ve lived without wallowing in identity or judgment. Sharma is just an amazing critic of the contemporary condition, ‘People fussy with judgment and fuzzy with fabric.’ This book responds to these dangerous and difficult times like the echo of a lively, creative, participating scalpel.”
—Thomas Sayers Ellis
“This season, the language is most green and wet in Prageeta Sharma’s Infamous Landscapes—brand new shoots of insight and contemplation, where fields of association and wit were thought once to be intractable and dry. Her poems reveal most ‘the posture of the life of the mind’ ascending, where humor is unabashedly handsome and an enormous intellect alluring even to the most cynical pedestrian. This is 21st century poetic thinking: sensuous, pellucid, and yearning.”
“Prageeta Sharma’s poems are as ever imbued with a crafty playfulness by which the appearances of the “I” the “You” and the “We” transcend tricks of the trade. Sharma cultivates mindscapes, scrutinizing the self in the midst of blooming and shifting guaranteed to exhilarate the reader.”