From award-winning Toronto-based poet Doyali Islam comes a second collection of poems that investigates rupture and resilience.
How does one inhabit a world in which the moon and the drone hang in the same sky? How can one be at home in one's own body in the presence of suspected autoimmune illness, chronic/recurrent pain, and a society that bears down with a particular construct of normal female sexual experience? What might a daughter salvage within a fraught relationship with a cancer-stricken father? Uncannily at ease with both high lyricism and formal innovation and invention, these poems are unafraid to lift up and investigate burdens and ruptures of all kinds--psychic, social, cultural, physical, and political.
Providing continuity over the poet's visually-arresting forms--including Islam's self-termed split sonnets, double sonnets, and parallel poems--is allied remembrance of the resilience of the Palestinian people. Yet, the work doesn't always stray far from home, with a quintet of astro-poems that weave together myth and memory.
Here is a poet small in stature, unwilling to abandon to silence small histories, small life forms, and the small courages and beauties of the ordinary hour. In these rigorous, intimate, and luminous poems, the spirit of the everyday and the spirit of witness bind fiercely to one another. heft is a ledger of tenderness, survival, and risk.
DOYALI ISLAM's poems have been published in Kenyon Review Online, The Fiddlehead, and The Best Canadian Poetry in English, and have won several national contests and prizes. Doyali serves as the poetry editor of Arc Poetry Magazine. In 2017, she was a guest on CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition and was a poetry finalist for the National Magazine Awards. She lives in Toronto, Ontario. heft is her second collection of poetry.
“heft deftly encompasses both personal and political through [Doyali Islam’s] innovative use of a bifurcated poem. Is it two wings built around a white silence? The scales of the balanceof justice? The border between self and other? We enter each poem as if into an unknown world, already populated, but ready to welcome us. Come and sit inside these wings.” --Philip Metres