Seven years after the publication of Firesmoke, Sheniz Janmohamed returns with her third collection of poetry, Reminders on the Path. The poet is wayfarer, exploring the path we inherit and seek out, that disappears with every step we take on it. At each step, there are reminders rooted in the ephemeral and the indelible. A companion on the path, a fleeting memory, a broken twig--all serve as guideposts to cross the threshold of one's self. Grounded in the language of place, these poems become stepping-stones from the author's past to the present, from forgetfulness to remembrance, and from the unknowing to a deep knowing only found through direct experience.
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 two collections of poetry: Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010) and Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014), both of which have been taught at the University of Toronto. 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).
Her third collection of poetry, Reminders on the Path, will be released this Fall (2021).
"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 re-membering, 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
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