Exit Wounds (Paperback)
What does it mean to feel at home? In his groundbreaking debut collection Exit Wounds, Indo-Canadian poet Tariq Malik weaves together history and myth with his own family’s experiences of immigration to uncover what it truly means to belong. Whether he is recalling his childhood memories of the death of his father, imagining himself as a dead soldier lost in the sands of the Kuwaiti desert, or drawing upon his family’s experience of ‘three wars and migrations,’ Malik’s moving search for home will resonate with anyone who has ever felt at odds with a dominant monoculture. Malik’s poetry combines traditional Punjabi mythology and First Nations’ symbolism with contemporary events that have shaped the lives of immigrants: 9/11, RCMP violence, war. The result is a defiant triumph of the plurality of minority experiences—a poetic chorus of immigrants and their descendants coming home to the truth and power of their many worlds.
For the past four decades, Vancouver-based author Tariq Malik has worked across poetry, fiction, and visual arts, to distill immersive and compelling narratives that are always original and intriguing. Born in Pakistani Punjab, he first had to survive three wars, two migrations, and two decades of slaving in the Kuwaiti desert before coming to Canada. He loves landscapes, bodies of living water large and small, and readers and listeners, and claims he writes so that he has something to read to his tribe on Open Mic Night at the local Poet's Corner or on the hallowed grounds of public libraries.