Cover of The Fingers Remember

Winner of the Muse India Young Writer Award 2015

The Fingers Remember is Aditi Rao's debut poetry collection, released by Yoda Press in 2014.  In the face of loss and grief, this book is an insistence on remembering -- a personal remembering as well as a political remembering -- as an act of love, of healing, and of resistance.

Aditi Rao’s writing is imbued with the attentiveness of a lepidopterist, the tenderness of an epicurean, and the quiet unflinching fortitude one associates with surgeons on the battlefield. The frontlines are those of attrition and loss — of the body, of memory, of time, of space, and of love — where the poems themselves are acts of resistance, of survival,  and ultimately, of celebration and transcendence. A warning: The Fingers Remember can enter and occupy crannies of the reader’s mind, humming reminders that are at once unnervingly intimate and strangely new. And it stays.
— Karthika Nair, Poet

SELECTED POEMS

Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous ‘I don’t know.’…Poets, if they’re genuine, must also keep repeating ‘I don’t know.’ Each poem marks an effort to answer this statement, but as soon as the final period hits the page, the poet begins to hesitate, starts to realize that this particular answer was pure makeshift that’s absolutely inadequate to boot. So the poets keep on trying.
— Wislawa Szymborska

Rao possesses a quality that’s easier to identify than emulate: wisdom. Her blue moods are not angst-ridden rants; they are serene even in their despondence. Her mischief seems studied, thought-over, planned to a T. She knows how to wield formal perfection but for the most part, she chooses a rhythm of her own.
— The Sunday Guardian

SELECTED ESSAYS

 
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.
— Audre Lorde