The Unforgiving City and I’ – Collection of poems by Aahir Mrittika

Bengal Publications is delighted to partner with Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, in publishing young writer Aahir Mrittika’s debut collection of poems, ‘The Unforgiving City and I’. Set in Dhaka, the collection of poems avenges and memorializes the heartache of growing up in the city as a young girl.

Aahir Mrittika​ is a 20-year-old writer and activist from Dhaka, Bangladesh, currently studying computational biology in the USA. They have been writing ‘The Unforgiving City and I’ since they were about 13, and quickly realized the consequences of creating poetry when their (secret) poem about sexual assault, ‘Take Me In’, got published in SHOUT, Daily Star in 2015. Back then, Aahir didn’t understand what they had done. Why being expressive of your feelings as a young femme was so disruptive.

‘The Unforgiving City and I’ details the journey of growing up in Mohammadpur, Dhaka. They tackle ideas of gender, their own roles and identities in society, the shame and violence of girlhood, and Bengali family dynamics. It is an overwhelmingly emotional piece of work, and unapologetic in its quality of being so. The specialty of this book lies in its honesty. The poems have been taken from Aahir’s several journals spanning over their teenage and adult years, and also written rigorously over the course of quarantine last year. One can sense this evolution in the stylistic differences, as they inquire and understand the world around them.

In Aahir’s words, the book is ‘self-indulgent’. It is a proud ode to their friends and mother and grandmother, designed to invade, confront, and mourn. A statement for the youth and their rage.

The book is available now at Bengal Boi, Batighar, Tokkhoshila, Pathak Shamabesh, Aziz Super Market, Banglabazar, Prothoma Book Corner, and Aranya.

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