shiv kotecha 

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Shiv Kotecha is a writer and editor. He is the author of The Switch (Wonder, 2018) and EXTRIGUE (Make Now Books, 2015), and his criticism appears in publications including 4Columns, Aperture, MUBI’s NotebookBOMB, frieze, The Nation. He co-edits Cookie Jar, a pamphlet series of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, where he is on staff as Program Manager. He holds a PhD in English from New York University, and teaches classes on poetry and critical writing for NYU’s XE: Experimental Humanities Department and for the Department of Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design.


› essay: “It’s a bad night”: On Be Brave to Things: The Uncollected Poetry and Plays of Jack Spicer, The Poetry Project Newsletter #270

Cookie Jar, volume 1: Home is a Foreign Place (ed. Pradeep Dalal and Shiv Kotecha), out in print and PDF on November 15, 2022
› essay: Hervé Guibert’s Last Laugh, The Nation


some criticism

› essay: history of the nipple piercing, Gayletter 16.
› profile: Tony Cokes, frieze.

› interview: Bassem Saad, BOMB 158.
› essay: “In the Air”: on filmmaker Mrinal Sen, MUBI Notebook.
› essay: on Zoe Leonard’s Downtown (For Douglas), Aperture.
› essay: on O Fantasma (2000), 4Columns.
› review: Carl Craig’s Party/Afterparty, 4Columns.
› review: Darrel Ellis’s A Composite Being, frieze.
› essay: “Out of Earshot”: on Asha Bhosle, frieze.
› essay: “Operations of Pleasure”: on artist Nayland Blake, frieze.
› essay: “”It’s time you became a refugee!’” on Ritwik Ghatak, frieze.

The Switch (Wonder, 2018)

The Switch is a book in three parts:

1. “I’m Sorry Shiv. I’m Sorry Diana”: an apology for friendship and desire, in fiction and verse

2. “Obedience Residency Manual”: the result of a self-imposed residency

3. “The Unlovable”: a long poem by an angry god

Purchase @ Bailfront, Wonder 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

Book design: Holly Melgard

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 an inventory of objects and actions. The book is composed of 419 numbered sections, each of which refer to the sequence of shots of Wilder’s film.  

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

Book design: Holly Melgard

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


› essay: “Outliving Birds” for Interlude Docs
› convo: Favorite Books (with Diana Hamilton), Peach.
› “I saved this for you” Poetry Project workshop course packet
› stream: Joy and Share w/ Joey Yearous-Algozin, Montez Press
› film archive: Shiv’s Light (ongoing), hosted by

photo credit: mary manning