Reminders on the Path
Infused with the language of place, the poems in this collection are stepping-stones from the author's past to her present, from forgetfulness to remembrance, from unknowing to a deep knowing found only through direct experience. Here, the poet is wayfarer: at each step she ... Read more
Infused with the language of place, the poems in this collection are stepping-stones from the author's past to her present, from forgetfulness to remembrance, from unknowing to a deep knowing found only through direct experience. Here, the poet is wayfarer: at each step she sees reminders of the ephemeral and the indelible. All serve as guideposts to cross the threshold of the self.
Sheniz Janmohamed (MFA) is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity. In her own practice, she strives to embody words through performance, land art and writing in the ghazal form. A poet, artist educator and land artist, Sheniz has performed her work in venues across the world, including the Jaipur Literature Festival, Alliance Française de Nairobi and the Aga Khan Museum.
Sheniz is also the author of three collections of poetry: Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010), Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014), and Reminders on the Path (Mawenzi House, 2021). Her writing has been published in a variety of publications, including Quill & Quire, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press, 2019).
Sheniz visits dozens of schools and organizations each year to teach, perform, and inspire creativity in her students. In 2015, she was awarded the Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Creative Teaching Scholarship, and holds an Artist Educator Mentor certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto).
"Lyrics of longing and surrender float down the pages of Sheniz Janmohamed's startling third collection Reminders on the Path. Here, ghazals are not just couplets of emotion, free verse is not without form, these are the precise political unravelings of a human being living on Turtle Island with a heart that beats in Sufic Persia. The poet asks, What is the motherland? What is the land? Who am I in diaspora? And then, the garden enters the poet to show the way. 'As the burnt forest of the world smoulders, I bring my charred heart to your cool steps. You: a reflection pool in the midst of flames. Your healing gaze is the water and the wine. '" --Tawhida Tanya Evanson, author of Book of Wings
"A richly evocative (re)collection in which Janmohamed turns the language of loss into a grammar of Presence. Tracing the movements of her generational forebears through crossings from India to East Africa to North America, this gifted mystic poet reminds us that while our outer journeys bring dislocations too heavy to bear, our inner journeys bring us back to a shattered heart that finds, in its remembering, healing and wholeness in the present. " --Zayn Kassam, Professor of Religious Studies, Pomona College
"The stirring poetry in this restive, wistful, poignant collection cannot help but move those in whom 'the sand of the present erases the footprints of the past. ' In Sheniz Janmohamed's Reminders on the Path, we find a magnificent homage to the diasporic experience, one many of us will hear echoing in our own souls. " --Shafique N. Virani, Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Toronto
"In this poignant and evocative collection of poems, the talented Sheniz invites us to join her on intersecting journeys across and beyond time and space; nostalgic journeys which elegantly interweave the material with the spiritual, the forgotten and the remembered, the past and the present in breathtakingly transformative ways. " --Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University
"Sheniz Janmohamed's poems are complex moments of meditation. These are small tender poems that you might find along the edge of a labyrinth along with rosebuds, lovers, and 'flame-tipped tulips. ' A great-granddaughter's search for connection to family, to land that was settled, and the land forgotten; these poems are the salt of her DNA. A successful third collection of poetry from a perceptive and practised poet. " --Sharanpal Ruprai, author of Pressure Cooker Love Bomb and Seva