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Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize

'Rich in form and reverent references, Us transports the reader from the hills of Pakistan to the schoolgrounds of Stratford-upon-Avon, from George Herbert to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.' (Maria Crawford, Financial Times, BOOKS OF THE YEAR)

'Highlights of the year include the Heaney-esque lyricism of British-Indian poet Zaffar Kunial's accomplished debut Us.' (Tristram Fane Saunders, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year)

'Zaffar Kunial possesses that rare quality of negative capability which Keats first identified in Shakespeare (a guiding spirit in this, Kunial’s first collection); the poems hold us among mysteries and doubts, without pronouncing or attempting to resolve. Their beauty lies in their indecisiveness – their quiet refusal to settle matters or hold to a single view.' (Rebecca Watts, Times Literary Supplement)

'His first full book, which has come together slowly, patiently, over several years... He can do clear-eyed and tender inside a single poem, without any hint of glibness. Fun fact: he used to earn his living writing verse for Hallmark cards.'
(The 20 best poetry books of 2018, The Spinoff, New Zealand)

'Everyone in this book is honoured as complicated and contrary, while the writing of them is always subtle and deep, generous and empathetic.' (Tim Dee, Caught by the River)

'Zaffar Kunial has been called “a guide for modern times”. His first collection Us travels from Pakistan to Stratford-upon-Avon to Orkney, as he explores his own cultural heritage through language. Kunial is interested in how two disparate elements can come together to create something new. He is more formal than many modern poets; he takes tradition seriously. His writing is subtle, thoughtful and precise, his view of the world utterly individual.' (FOLD magazine)

'Zaffar Kunial is a poet whose work thrills me, who makes you return to the origins of things, places, language and people again and again. He's a poet who takes traditions seriously but makes of them something entirely new - a must.' (Jackie Kay)

'Us by Zaffar Kunial abounds with poems which are witty, playful and heart-breaking by turns. Drawn to the place where things don't quite meet, which he describes as "a kind of abysmal underneathness/or usness/under the heights of language", his is a wondrous poetic of loopholes, portals and translations, and of the magic in-between.' (Sinead Morrissey, Chair of the T. S. Eliot Prize judges)

'There's something about the precise, thoughtful, unhurried way in which he interrogates language that marks him out as a unique talent. A real find.' (Roger Cox, Scotsman)