The Yak Dilemma Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal

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Front cover of the Makina Poetry book, The Yak Dilemma, by Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal. A quote by Sean Hewitt reads: 'These are songs of belonging and of movement, of fluid identity, carefully crafted and always graceful.''

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

About the book

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.

The Yak Dilemma has been selected by the National Poetry Library for its collection

These are songs of belonging and of movement, of fluid identity, carefully crafted and always graceful.

Seán Hewitt
author of Tongues of Fire
The Yak Dilemma with print and sticker
The Deluxe Edition

Further Praise

Dhaliwal is an important and vibrantly exciting new voice in poetry.

Rebecca Tamás author of WITCH and Strangers

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.

Robert 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
Author, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal, by Robin Christian / Makina Books
Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal by Robin Christian

About the author

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.


  • The Idler Festival, Independent Press Showcase (w/ Peninsula Press, Prototype) July 2022
  • The National Poetry Library, August 2022
  • Irish Writers Centre, Culture Night, September 2022


In this highlight from Rattlecast #95, Supriya reads and discusses her poem 'Meet Me in the Morning on No Man's Land'
The cover reveal animation by James Paulley
The Rattlecast #95 livestream featuring Supriya
'Glass' author Emily Cooper hosted a discussion about Makina Books with its publisher, designer and Supriya.


Trim Size
186 x 150 mm
92 pp
Illustrations Colour
7 colour
Illustrations B&W
6 black & white
Publication Date
15 April 2021
Production Spec
Munken Lynx, full-colour offset litho, section sewn perfect binding with flapped covers
Inpress Books / Ingram Publisher Services
Trade Categories
Poetry, Travel, Memory