Our Echo of Sudden Mercy by Hari Alluri
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Our Echo of Sudden Mercy searches for the tenuous places where grief and joy entwine. At turns meditative, irreverent, and tender, the poems trace these threads through multiple forms of loss—personal and familial, cultural and planetary, quiet and violent—by encountering and moving through the everyday.
“We have always been the consequence of stories,” they intone. Here, attentive to the ode in downbeats of lament, Alluri finds a restorative poetry: that the incantatory in the fragmented can be heard as a form of wholeness, that displacement can become a way of being in the world, one which holds and is held by listening, by care and collaboration.
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The magic in Our Echo of Sudden Mercy is the sublime ordinary: coffee grounds on bare heels, a lover’s touch, the sharp loss of a wondrous friend, the tension and blessings and lessons of responsibility to self and responsibility to others. A radical ode to life worth living. Hari Alluri shines in these pages with his sheer, unbridled obligation to muddy joy, his presence on the page, and in this life.
—Seema Reza, author of A Constellation of Half-Lives
Our Echo of Sudden Mercy is a clarion call, the fire this time, grandma's hands, cool water, the extended play version, a gift, a deep sigh, a murmuring embrace. This brilliant ember, may it catch a fire in the minds, hearts and hands of many a reader.
—Khari Wendell McClelland, creator of Freedom Singer
Hari Alluri (he/him/siya) is a migrant poet of Filipinx and South Asian descent living and writing on unceded Coast Salish Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples and Kwantlen, Katzie, Kwikwitlem lands of Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples. He is author of The Flayed City (Kaya), Carving Ashes (CiCAC/Thompson Rivers), and chapbook The Promise of Rust (Mouthfeel). Writer-director of Pasalubong: Gifts from the Journey (NFB/ONF), co-editor of We Were Not Alone (Community Building Art Works) and co-founding editor at Locked Horn Press, siya has received grants, fellowships, and residencies from the BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, The Capilano Review, Deer Lake, Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, VONA/Voices, and others. His work appears through these venues and elsewhere: 1508, AALR, Apogee, Four Way Review, Marías at Sampaguitas, Poetry, PRISM International, Witness, and—via Split This Rock--Best of the Net 2022.