Today's featured DiscoverVerse poet is M.A. Mahadeo whose debut collectionNever a Child (Now or Never Publishing) is both a dialogue with and reflection of the people who have shaped her understanding of her feminine identity. Below, M.A. tells us what she learned writing her collection and how poetry is always evolving, what she'd bring with her on a quest, and how nature inspires her. Read on for our chat and for a poem from Never a Child.
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Interview with M.A. Mahadeo
All Lit Up: Never a Child is your debut book of poetry. What did you learn writing this collection?
M.A. Mahadeo: I learned that the poetry we create is always evolving and growing. The meaning that I found within each poem could change every day, and reading the final work now, from an older and more distant perspective, I see the collection as a small beautiful space of my life where I was honest in that exploration of growth. The small sentence fragments can emote something so powerful, as we do in our quiet authentic moments.
ALU: If you were a character in a Choose Your Own Adventure story, what kind of quest would you be on? What three things would you have with you on your journey?
MAM: If I was on a quest, I would definitely be the scholar that was helping the fighter with logistics and plans. I would bring books to read on the journey, as I strongly believe that all answers can be found in stories. I would also bring instant coffee and my favourite reading blanket.
ALU: Where do you draw inspiration from outside of poetry?
MAM: Nature has always been my biggest influence, ever since I started writing poetry in school. The cyclical nature of the seasons, and the restart of our environment has always been the basis for my writing.
ALU: Help us with a poetry prompt for our readers. Can you come up with a writing prompt for our readers to write their own poetry? MAM: The best cup of coffee in your favourite place.
Today across the phone, I tell you of my day to day,
we are no longer so different.
Commonality of happiness.
Comparing our thoughts on how we cook,
I no longer make pies, but vegetables from you.
Recipes you said were like experiments,
when I dissected their sentences. Burnt, fire alarm always on.
We smile as I remark what I thought I would never say,
“I miss you.”
Times come and go,
I’ve grown into something, not woman not child.
A something in between and I notice the way we both clean our glasses the same way.
I sweep just like you,
I laugh at animation.
I cry at horror movies, still afraid to sleep with the lights off.
I was always this person among you,
you just didn’t see it. Didn’t see beyond a child.
I forgive the screaming, and the hiding of my diary under the bed.
I give you now my words.
Do with them as you should or as you will.
I hold no torch to your actions,
lifting the reigns off of the leash.
Now, I can see you,
Our old friend in the dusk of the rainstorm,
He awaits all.
No matter the age. Woman or little one.
I was never a human
For it doesn’t exist.
I see you now,
not through you.
We are women even though friend was never our adjective.
Changing my name, but I will always be the daughter of the dirt-ly paved roads.
Still work, but not perfectly.
The daughter of the trees swinging in the distance reacting with the winter of your insults.
I understand the comments today
protection under the disguise of
To my teller,
I accept the childhood I was never given,
expecting nothing to retrieve it.
It’s gone now.
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Originally from Albany, New York, M.A. Mahadeo makes her home in Toronto, Ontario where, having immersed herself in the city’s literary scene, she’s had poems appear in such publications as Blood & Bourbon, Anti-Heroin Chic, Man in the Street Magazine, and Rejected Lit. Never a Child is her first collection.
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During the month of April, you can buy Never a Childand any of our featured DiscoverVerse books for 20% off! PLUS: FREE shipping!
Play our Choose Your Own Poetry game where YOU are the narrator! Choose from multiple paths on the way to one ultimate goal: visiting your local bookstore to browse poetry. As you move through the story you will find poetry books to collect in your tote bag. There are a total of 36 poetry books to discover across the various paths with 12 possible endings. Which poetry collections will you find on your path?
Playing time: 1-2 minutes per path. To play, click the link below to start the download.
All Lit Up is produced by the Literary Press Group and LitDistCo. LPG and LitDistCo acknowledge the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council.
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All Lit Up acknowledges we are hosted on the lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat. We also recognize the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and the Inuit people, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work on this territory.