This is the cover of the second edition (2008). The first edition (2006) had a different (and somewhat boring) cover.
Street on the Hill is a book of poems mostly about middle-class lives in a small town. There are several poems about childhood observations, memories and concealments.
Then come men who run sweetshops in faded black ties, nuns who teach in convent schools, pregnant women and knife-grinders, as well as sports goods stores, beauty parlours, Chinese restaurants, and quiet bedrooms on winter afternoons.
The later poems are about flight from the “museum of the past”. These poems celebrate travel, love and the life of the senses.
Nice things said:
There are two kinds of poets. The first who craft their poems so well that when you finish the poem you look back and say – what a tremendous, haunting poem that was. But if you pick out a stanza from that poem [you say]…fair enough but nothing great. There are the other kinds who play with language and you’ll have something scintillating in every second line, something being put forward differently. Anjum Hasan is both [kinds of poets].
“…a beautiful testament that is intellectually stimulating, technically vigilant and texturally refined.”
The Hindu Literary Review
“…sensitive exploration of middle-class life in a small town… a fine collection of poems whose sections bring alive the everyday fabric of life.”
“…extraordinarily delightful…Anjum Hasan has a great future as an Indian English poet.”
“[Anjum Hasan] is both inhabitant and observer, humane insider and wondering outsider. This endows this first book of poetry with a depth and richness of perspective that make for compelling reading.”
Poetry International Web
“[Anjum Hasan’s] writing is unfussy, concise, in a word elegant…I want to grab every passer-by by the scruff and read them any one poem from this collection, demand of them, “Doesn’t this woman know how to write?””
“Anjum Hasan is able in her verse to widen and re-formulate her expression, extracting it from the traditional graces and allusiveness to give it an effective directness.”