Parallel Truths
Debjani Chatterjee
A CERTAIN WAY by Mona Dash Skylark Publications, 2017, 99 pp., £9.99
April 2017, volume 41, No 4

A Certain Way is an interesting debut in more ways than one. For Word Masala Foundation and its publishing wing Skylark Publications, this is the first time that they have employed crowd-funding as an innovative method of raising finance to fund a book’s publication. It was clearly a successful venture; the outcome is a well-presented paperback—a first collection of poems by ‘Word Masala New Voice Award Winner’ Mona Dash.

The book’s opening piece is also the title poem, ‘A Certain Way’. It gives the narrator’s definitive statement about her position as an immigrant: society may put pressure on the immigrant to behave in ‘a certain way’, but Dash would steer her own course:
soothed by the nourishing cool green
of the land I live in,
energised by the glowing orange sun
of the land I come from.

She clearly knows her mind and wants the best of both worlds:
Uproot, grow, take root
parallel truths, a little of this,
a little of that.
For an immigrant,
there is no certain way to be.

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