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“Joshua Gray in his second book of poetry, Principles of Belonging, pushes the envelope in his artistic efforts to create a masterpiece of poetic unity.”
“…what is clearly a very, very good and interesting collection of poems may turn into a game-changer of a book.”
“Just for its poetic nerve and intrinsic formalist interest this book gets an “A” as in audacious.”
— Dennis Daly, reviewing for Fox Chase Review
Principles of Belonging, published by Red Dashboard, LLC, is a true story, or I should say four true stories, fictionalized. The stories are of my parents and parents-in-law.
From the back cover:
Principles of Belonging is a book length poem written in many different poetic forms, including Anglo-Saxon, Blank (Iambic Pentameter), Cynneghanedd (Welsh) and Sanskrit, which is an ancient form of syllabic meter. Sanskrit is a historical Indo-Aryan language, the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and a literary and scholarly language in Buddhism and Jainism, and Gray adapted the poetic form into English.
The poem follows four children who struggle for a sense of belonging that continues to elude them even in adulthood. Their lives come together despite large geographical differences and debilitating childhood experiences that include alcoholism, Indian Partition, poorly located hernias and a father with a big secret — eventually finding what they were looking for.
I have written much about this project, but instead of rewriting it all here, please click this link, which will take you to a few blog posts about it.