Kalamkari and Cordillera

By (author): Wanda Campbell

This collection “spattered diversely by the trades that we live by” as Pablo Neruda puts it, reflects the variety of influences that have shaped the poet’s craft. Kalamkari (from the Persian for “pen craft”) refers to the hand-painted and block-printed textiles of South India where the poet grew up, and this section of the collection contains poems combining memories of her childhood with contemporary realities especially those affecting the lives of Indian girls and women. Harsh realities of women’s daily lives force the poet to look at the darker side of a country she loves and yet, like the old woman in the Aesop’s fable, she discovers “there is wonder even in the dregs.” Cordillera (from the Spanish for “mountain chain”) contains poems inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda and the country of Chile where he grew up in the shadow of the Andes. Because they were written at the fraught juncture between expectation and exile, appearance and reality, youth and age, memory and truth, these are at once poems of place and deeply personal. India and Chile share much in common including a turbulent colonial past, the challenges of poverty and climate, and a passionate commitment to craft. Imagery and attention to form, shared by Neruda, forge strong links between the two halves of the collection. Both the journeys we do not get to take and the journeys we do not get to keep teach us what it means to be human in relation to others and our chosen craft. By recounting the truth of her experience in both solitude and solidarity, the poet explores the cost of yearning and illuminates some of the perils and pleasures faced by women the world over.

AUTHOR

Wanda Campbell

Wanda Campbell was born in South India and came to Canada at the age of ten. With her husband and three daughters she has camped in the National Parks in every province in Canada and has lived and worked in New Brunswick and Ontario. She now lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where she teaches Creative Writing at Acadia University in view of the highest tides in the world. She has published the novel Hat Girl, and three collections of poetry, Sky Fishing, Looking For Lucy and Grace. She has also edited literature anthologies for Penguin and an anthology of early Canadian women poets called Hidden Rooms. Her creative work has appeared in journals from coast to coast, including Antigonish Review, Dalhousie Review, Descant, existere, Fiddlehead, Gaspereau Review, Grain, Harpweaver, New Quarterly, Queen’s Quarterly, Room of One’s Own, Vallum, Wascana Review, Windsor Review and in the anthologies Body Language and Landmarks.


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This collection “spattered diversely by the trades that we live by” as Pablo Neruda puts it, reflects the variety of influences that have shaped the poet’s craft. Kalamkari (from the Persian for “pen craft”) refers to the hand-painted and block-printed textiles of South India where the poet grew up, and this section of the collection contains poems combining memories of her childhood with contemporary realities especially those affecting the lives of Indian girls and women. Harsh realities of women’s daily lives force the poet to look at the darker side of a country she loves and yet, like the old woman in the Aesop’s fable, she discovers “there is wonder even in the dregs.” Cordillera (from the Spanish for “mountain chain”) contains poems inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda and the country of Chile where he grew up in the shadow of the Andes. Because they were written at the fraught juncture between expectation and exile, appearance and reality, youth and age, memory and truth, these are at once poems of place and deeply personal. India and Chile share much in common including a turbulent colonial past, the challenges of poverty and climate, and a passionate commitment to craft. Imagery and attention to form, shared by Neruda, forge strong links between the two halves of the collection. Both the journeys we do not get to take and the journeys we do not get to keep teach us what it means to be human in relation to others and our chosen craft. By recounting the truth of her experience in both solitude and solidarity, the poet explores the cost of yearning and illuminates some of the perils and pleasures faced by women the world over.

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Dimensions:

Pages

Published:

September 15, 2017

City of Publication:

Toronto

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Inanna Publications

ISBN:

9781771334563

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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