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Cracked Asphalt seeks to untangle the strings of guilt Sree Sen found herself wrapped in after her move from Mumbai, India to Dublin, Ireland. What is home, beyond concrete, relationships and postal addresses? Born out of worn-out soles, when Sen went fundraising door-to-door in Dublin, these poems are a personal exploration of fractured identities and the essence of 'home'.


Sample poem:



sour apples


the apple tree at home bears tart fruits

as a child, I’d been warned—

sour mouth crevices

juices dripping along elbow lines

pitted seeds longing for the worm

to break through.


at home, it's tart, the apples

worthless in the marketplace

almost evil but not in pies

i’d climb high  
for the one beyond my reach
risk a scolding. tart fruits


apples at home, two decades later

the old tree hangs head in shame

an incomplete mother,

the worm feasted upon,
 betraying each branch
birthing a perfect error


Advance Praise:


“Like a Pfeilströche, arrow stork, these poems reach us from afar. They bring evidence of a life lived for better ‘I dreamt of going home... of love restored in spicy/ ginger tea, freckles and wrinkled touch’ or for worse ‘my character attached to my neckline’.  These poems are themselves proof of living ‘easier to love in Dublin, here I’m not pretending to be/ someone else,’ but not always easy living ‘racists, invincible under streetlights.’ These poems are unflinching in their truth telling. The worlds they describe are complex and highlight that there is no easy way between places. Sree Sen’s poems are shocking and beautiful. They will help you see differently.”

- Fióna Bolger


"In this substantial body of work, Sree Sen navigates a shifting sense of self as she moves through Ireland and India. Her poems offer deep and gentle explorations of femininity, race, and belonging in both locations. Sen deftly commands every aspect of her poems, from the line to the page, with a characteristic thoughtfulness. This debut pamphlet showcases the beauty of poetry as a space of experimentation and figuring out. To draw on her own words, Sen achieves a powerful poetics of “coming together, splintering apart”. 

- Julie Morrissy

EBOOK: Cracked Asphalt by Sree Sen


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