Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo is a Trinidadian British writer whose five books and two pamphlets include Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet, 2016), Simple Complex Shapes (Shearsman, 2015) and Utter (Peepal Tree, 2013). She holds a PhD in Old Norse and is interested in multilingualism, creative reworkings, and the boundaries between the human and the natural. Her collaborative work on performance and installation includes responses to Euripides' Bacchae, 'Radical Shakespeare', and Martin Carter's revolutionary writings from Guyana. The Harper-Wood Studentship (St John's College, Cambridge) supported her travel for research during 2015-16. Capildeo was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Collection for Measures of Expatriation in 2016.

Photo: Hayley Madden


Poetry Centre Stage »

A double bill of poetry to finish the festival
20:00 reading – Vahni Capildeo
21:00 reading – Elaine Feinstein

Sun 5 March | 20:00 - 22:00 | £9.50/£7.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Round Table »

Round Table intimate reading with Vahni Capildeo

Sat 4 March | 11:30 - 12:15 | £6.00/£4.00 | The Green Room, St Leonards Quad, St Leonards School, South Street



A fast-breathed lamb
is brought indoors.
Illness incandesces
in a cardboard box.
An infrared lamp –
a ruby glass blown womb –
lit, the shock slows
waits, the head lifts.
And if it is enough
or not enough
to strengthen
any one thing,
it is life,
both given and fought for;
it is love,
both granite and meadow.


Vahni Capildeo

From Poetry at Sangam