shiv kotecha 

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Shiv Kotecha writes, edits and teaches. He is the author of The Switch (Wonder) and EXTRIGUE (Make Now Books). He writes about contemporary art and film for publications such as 4Columns, Aperture, BOMB, and frieze magazine, where he is a contributing editor. He is on staff at The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant as program manager and publications editor. He holds a PhD in English from New York University, and teaches a graduate seminar on experimental poetry and criticism for the XE: Expeirmental Humanities and Social Engagement Program at NYU, and in the MFA program in Department of Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. CV


› review of Darrel Ellis’s A Composite Being, in frieze
› “I saved this for you” Poetry Project Reading Group,  Syllabi and PDFs
› “They Live!” on Dave McKenzie’s Old Man/Sarcophagus, frieze 219.
interview with Ajay Kurian in BOMB 155,

exhibition text, Julian Stalbohm’s Views of Volcanos, Volksbünhe Pavilion, Berlin. 

› short essay on Zoe Leonard’s Downtown (For Douglas) for Aperture.

› short essay on O Fantasma (dir. João Pedro Rodrigues, 2000) in 4Columns.
› review of Carl Craig’s Party/After-Party, Dia:Beacon in 4Columns.


The Switch (Wonder, 2018)

The Switch is a book in three parts:
1. an extended apology, in fictional verse, for friendship and desire, called “I’m Sorry Shiv. I’m Sorry Diana”.
2. the result of a fake residency, called "Obedience Residency Manual."
3. a long poem spoken by an angry god, called “The Unlovable.”

Book design: Holly Melgard
Purchase @ BailfrontWonder or  SPD

Shiv Kotecha does for the word fucking what Catullus did for the word kissing.  In The Switch, desire travels everywhere to its surprisingly specific destinations—to body parts aroused in their fashion, like a saint’s skull or a cock.  Here love is as artificial as a courtly dialogue, and deeply felt, even spiritual.  Here the arousal of the fragmented body is contemporary practice.  Is one allowed to write such a book?  Among the spectacular effects and turns and startling intimacies in The Switch, the most daring is its no-holds-barred pursuit of love.

Shiv Kotecha’s deeply weird and affecting book The Switch works with prosaic measure and measured prose to compress the mess of everyday sexual feeling, the mess of everyday relating (both on and off the planet of the genital) into these often perfect lines

“Poetry is never lost in a politics of refusal, and even in the most flirtatious behavioral studies of human and nonhuman desire for connection ... Kotecha’s ballast is clearly his feeling for the radiance of form-switching itself”

“it consists of an easy-to-read novel.“
―CLARA LOU, Book and Film Globe

Corina Copp, Editors Pick at BOMB
Charlie Markbreiter at The Believer
Rachel Vallen’s Winter Poetry Select at TANK
Clara Luo at Book and Film Globe
Katherine Beaman at Common Place Review

EXTRIGUE (Make Now Books, 2015)

EXTRIGUE is a book-length poem which renders the mise-en-scène of Billy Wilder’s 1944 noir, Double Indemnity, into text. Each of the 419 paragraphs refers to the shots in sequence that compose Wilder’s film.  

Book design: Holly Melgard
Purchase @ SPD or Make Now Books

PDF: Download

Like a post-conceptual Pompeii, Shiv Kotecha’s EXTRIGUE archives the rubble of language as forensics. Freud's Little Hans meets Lynch's Mullholland Drive. EXTRIGUE works repetition and perception in order to collapse time. Through his numbered sequencing of the human stain, Kotecha pulls us into an endless present: “345. A FLAME THAT FADES INTO A PHONE A MAN THAT FADES INTO A MAN A LAMP THAT FADES INTO A BOOK SMOKE THAT FADES INTO A HAT.“ EXTRIGUE, outside of self, is the canoptic jar of the now.

“If the items (numbered) in EXTRIGUE resemble Objects, Rooms, and Foods we’ve grown accustomed to in Stein’s Tender Buttons, it is because PAUSE is the tenderest button of them all. She never could have known.”
―DIVYA VICTOR, The Poetry Foundation

Press: Pause is the tenderest button: On Shiv Kotecha's EXTRIGUE“ by Divya Victor

some prose

“Heaven” (2018)
“Discarnate Nude” (2017)

essays and criticism

› “Out of Earshot,” a feature on Asha Bhosle’s long playback career for frieze, published with an interview with editor Andrew Durbin, and an hour of music.
› review of Nicole Eisenman’s Sturm und Drang at The Austin Contemporary, for frieze.

› “Operations of Pleasure,” a feature on the artist Nayland Blake for frieze.
› “”It’s time you became a refugee!’ The Films of Ritwik Ghatak”  for frieze

› see more writing for frieze here.


› radio hour: for Montez Press Radio: Joy and Share w/ Joey Yearous-Algozin
› film archive: Shiv’s Light (ongoing), hosted by—a folder of free movies of from South Asia—all available with subtitles. (See the README files for a rundown of what’s what.)

photo credit: mary manning