Land of the Sky

By Salimah Valiani

Land of the Sky
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Inspired by the Rocky Mountains, 'Land of the Sky', the last poem in this collection, is a means of using detail from various distances to reflect on the socio-political and the human that is all around us. At the essence of all the poems in the collection: to explore the land ... Read more


Overview

Inspired by the Rocky Mountains, 'Land of the Sky', the last poem in this collection, is a means of using detail from various distances to reflect on the socio-political and the human that is all around us. At the essence of all the poems in the collection: to explore the land through the distance of the sky and understand that which seems so grounded as-- the sky-- full of metaphor and near-unfathomable reflexes of histories. This collection is also a continuation of one of the projects of the previous poetry collection, Letter Out: Letter In defining and redefining love as an alternative to solidarity, with the added twist of drawing alternatives to diversity and democracy from the multiplicity of nature.

Salimah Valiani

Salimah Valiani is a poet, activist and researcher. She has published six collections of poetry: breathing for breadth (TSAR), Letter Out: Letter In (Inanna Publications), land of the sky (Inanna Publications), Cradles (Daraja Press), and 29 leads to love (Inanna Publications). Her audiobook, Love Pandemic is forthcoming from Daraja Press. She has also published one research monograph, Rethinking Unequal Exchange - The Global Integration of Nursing Labour Markets (University of Toronto Press), and one edited volume, The Future of Mining in South Africa (Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection). She has lived and worked around the world, with extended stops in Montreal, London, New York City, Binghamton, Toronto, Cape Town, Ottawa and Johannesburg. Throughout, poetry, lands, greenery and water have been vehicles of reflection, observation and spiritual calm. Her poetry has been featured in All Lit Up, the online book forum of The Literary Group of Canada, and has received an Honourable Mention in the Lena Wilson Endicott Poetry Contest of Our Times Magazine. In June 2012 she was awarded the Feminist Economics Rhonda Williams Prize for her research and advocacy work. Her poem-story, Dear South Africa, was selected as one of 7 chapbooks of Praxis Magazine's 2019-2020 Chapbook Series.

Reviews

"Land of the Sky delivers poetry that is moving, transporting, and transcendent. A citizen of the globe, Salimah Valiani has no time for the pedestrian and no room for the commonplace. She recognizes that "things are similar and different simultaneously": "What's wrong with choosing the strange?" In Land of the Sky, Valiani connects Canada, Tanzania, and Uganda; Ismaili, Ishnashari, and Buddhist; Anishnabek Cree, Chinese, and Luganda; Chez Rodin and Plante Bath; snow and savannah; astronomy that's based on criminal justice forensics. For Valiani, "The first crime is alienation," and so she savours the world-- exotic menus and mountain gorillas, public transit workers and women dancers-- and each moment's "eminence / decadence. " This book is the result of the poet's "fragmenting my life / into more new places. " Why? "How many times can a heart be broken?" The resolve? "it takes pain / to feel free. "
-- George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary (Canadian) Poet Laureate (2016-2018)

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