The Yak Dilemma

Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal


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• All direct orders ship with a limited The Yak Dilemma print

‘Dhaliwal writes with a rich fluency of tongues, evoking pathos and pleasure in equal measure.’
— Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, author of Auguries of a Minor God

‘Dhaliwal is an important and vibrantly exciting new voice in poetry.’
— Rebecca Tamás, author of WITCH and Strangers

‘These are songs of belonging and of movement, of fluid identity, carefully crafted and always graceful.’
— Seán Hewitt, author of Tongues of Fire

‘Dhaliwal’s writing is evocative, thrilling, and magnificent.’
— Zeba Talkhani, author of My Past is a Foreign Country

‘A heartfelt, entertaining debut’
— André Naffis-Sahely, author of The Promised Land: Poems from Itinerant Life

Kaur Dhaliwal travels through time and space and the self; I wanted to go wherever she was heading.’
— Jen Calleja, author of Goblins

‘The Yak Dilemma is beautiful, transportative and so deeply felt.’
– Lucia Osborne-Crowley, author of I Choose Elena

‘The Yak Dilemma asks: why risk myopia, when we can move forward—and unfold?’
— Sana Goyal, Poetry London

‘a collection which inspires a complex mix of pathos, longing, curiosity and joy.’
— Rober Greer, Idler

‘an illuminating exercise about the self and our surroundings’
— Nidhi Verma, Platform

‘The Yak Dilemma by Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal takes a sharp look at what it means to belong somewhere. Dhaliwal’s subjects are family, displacement, language and the ironies of modern life. Her work is quick, interrogative and moves deceptively easily from city to city and subject to subject, but never do we lose sight of the questions Dhaliwal asks, “Where have I truly come to?”
— Poetry Book Society Spring 2021 Bulletin


Published April 15th in paperback with flapped covers and full-colour offset litho printed on Munken Lynx paper stock. Also available as an ePublication. Watch the animated cover reveal here.

In The Yak Dilemma, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal ventures out of the mountain ranges of Palampur and across vast distances of land and sea. From scenes playing out through Dublin windows to ruminating on wearing a Sadri in the West, these innovative mediations are as much about personal identity as they are a testament to the human spirit’s drive to cross territory and forge a ‘map’ of our own. Kaur Dhaliwal’s map, if she has one, is without architecture or foundations; ‘Four walls don’t make a home or a house—it takes some doing’, she writes in Ghazal on Living in a Hotel in Downtown Cairo. She is part of a dynamic new generation of poets pushing the medium into exciting new areas by questioning the notion of ‘place’ and its effect on our bodies—including the human spirit and memory. Uprooted and unsettled, her lyrical voice generously outlines ‘home’ as something other than a physical place. The Yak Dilemma is a remarkable poetic journey, its words create new territories by carefully revealing the fragile spaces that fall in between.

Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal was born in the Himalayan town of Palampur, India. She studied at St. Bede’s College, Shimla; Trinity College, Dublin; and Queen’s University, Belfast. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, German and Italian, and have recently appeared in Ambit, Banshee, Gutter, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Jukebox, Poetry London, The Bombay Literary Magazine, The Irish Times, The Lonely Crowd, The Pickled Body, The Tangerine and elsewhere. In 2018, she was one of the twelve poets selected for Poetry Ireland’s ‘Introductions’ series. She is the 2021 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow at the University of Kent. The Yak Dilemma is her first full-length collection.


Where have I truly come to? : Sana Goyal retraces the steps of an itinerant poet – Poetry London

In Conversation – Platform Magazine

Rattlecast – ep. 95 – Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal

FOUR Poems from The Yak DilemmaHotel

Poem of the week: Reading Natalia Ginzburg in East Cork – The Irish Times

Unlaunched Books Podcast Episode 9, featuring Evgeny Shtorn, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal, and Oein DeBhairduin in conversation with Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe (August 2020)

Poem Of The Day: The women who dine alone, dine alone – RTÉ

The Wisdom of Questions – The Yak Dilemma – Wood Bee Poet

BBC Open Book, The Yak Dilemma, recommended by Review Bookshop – Radio 4

Poetry Book of the Week – Books Upstairs

Poetry Book Society – Spring 2021 Bulletin

Idler, Summer 2021


Literary Lunch — Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal with Ben Pope: Review Bookshop IGTV

Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal and Emily Cooper: West Cork Literature Festival

Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal — Conversation with Emily Cooper, Robin Christian and Patrick Fisher: Regional Cultural Centre

Purchased by the National Poetry Library

  • Paperback
  • 186 x 150 mm
  • 92 pp
  • 7 colour
  • 6 black & white
  • April 2021
  • 9781527271654
  • Designed by Patrick Fisher for Frontwards Design
  • Munken Lynx, full-colour offset litho, section sewn perfect binding with flapped covers
  • Distributed by Cornerhouse Publications / Ingram Publisher Services UK
  • Categories: Poetry
  • Subjects: Poetry, Travel, Memory