Divya Victor’s Curb is extraordinary: it is a sobering poetic look at how white supremacy “curbs” the brown civilian who can slip between Muslim and Black, between terrorist and illegal. If they’re not targeted for what they are, they’re mistaken for what they’re not — with sometimes fatal consequences. Victor explores the murders of South Asians in America with piercing acumen, re-arranging historical documents into wholly original compositional strategies that draws me in but also pushes me back. I can never know what happened, only perceive the disquieting absence of lives annihilated by structural violence. Layered, rich, and epic, Curb is an incredible collection that must be read and re-read.
— Cathy Park Hong
Divya Victor’s fine-spun Curb carefully tracks, documents, and descriptively elucidates the vertitable language of testimony to make visible the invisibility of South Asians, particularly those targeted and erased by domestic terrorism and violence in the United States. These poems speak with potency as they innovate methods of thinking about what a speaker can witness and who they can address. These poems buck the traditional lyric to go to the matters of the “she in me,” to what is “swollen and pressing,” to the “birth certificates” and the “death certificates,” and to the lives that are “settled out of suitcases.” She writes deepening sequences that evoke the “locution/location” at the heart of migration. Curb is as extraordinary as her previous book, Kith, and continues to build on its perceptual engagements. This collection is an outstanding document that locates us in the coordinates of an abode where we can discuss who gets counted, heard, or “read” with the compassion and love required to belong in community.
— Prageeta Sharma