Notes from the Birth Year

Available April 2, 2022
ISBN 978-1-7345166-3-0

Order here from Bateau Press

“Near the end of Notes from the Birth Year, Mia Ayumi Malhotra asks a question I cannot get out of my head: What is the difference between a ghost and an ancestor? In its exquisite record and retelling of the ways we behold the world and of the ways we share that beholding with others, Malhotra’s intimate and spellbinding poetry illuminates love as attention shared and attention transferred, while creating, in that illumination, space for the ghost and the ancestor to exist, in their differences, together—in the living, in the dying, and in the beholding.”  —Brandon Shimoda, author of The Grave on the Wall and The Desert

“What strikes me as I read Mia Ayumi Malhotra’s poems is that they never start by saying, ‘this is what a poem is,’ but always by asking, ‘what might a poem be?’. I prize this in her poetry, which encounters the world not to prescribe its being but in an attempt to describe that meeting. Newness, meet newness. Wonder, meet wonder. Horror, meet horror. Loss, meet loss. Confounding joy, meet confounding joy. When Malhotra writes that in flight she lose[s] all sense of where one body ends and the next begins, she is also naming the child’s first sense of relation and the poet’s (re)awakening to their entanglement in the net of being that is the world. Amid the endlessness of our earthly being-together—human, plant, animal, land, air; our ancestors and our children; the texts that precede and follow us—these poems make beauty in their asking and their going to find out.  —Éireann Lorsung, author of The Century and Her Book: Poems


  • Review by Annina Zheng-Hardy, Suspect Review: “The Presence of Another World”
  • Interview with Heidi Van Horn, The Adroit Journal: “Strange, Unkempt Houses for Our Words to Live in: A Conversation with Mia Ayumi Malhotra”
  • Review by Rob Mclennan: “Ongoing notes: early August, 2022”
  • Reading (and another reading) on KALW’s Bay Poets
  • Reading on The Chapbook: a Bull City Press Podcast, with Noah Stetzer and Ross White
  • Roundup mention on Lantern Review Blog: “An Asian American Poetry Companion: Refreshing Reads for Spring”