What does it mean to step into adulthood as a woman in today’s world? How deeply can external voices influence inner dialogue? These questions and more are explored in the latest works of award-winning Canadian poet Doyali Islam (heft) and New Zealand essayist Ashleigh Young (Can You Tolerate This?). Join them as they read and bring their prose to life before discussing the subtext of their work with interviewer Catherine Graham. Hosted by Sheniz Janmohamed.
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Catherine Graham is a Toronto-based writer. Her sixth poetry collection, The Celery Forest, was named a CBC Best Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her debut novel, Quarry, won an Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for fiction, “The Very Best!” Book Awards for Best Fiction and was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction and Fred Kerner Book Award. She teaches at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award and is a previous winner of TIFA’s PoetryNOW: Battle of the Bards.
Doyali Islam's second poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019). Poems from heft have been published in Kenyon Review Online, The Fiddlehead, and Best Canadian Poetry. Doyali has discussed the value of silence on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition; language, form, beauty, and empathy with Anne Michaels in CV2; and the relationship between poetry and the body on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter. She has also been in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Forrest Gander, and you can find their discussion of grief, art-making, and poetry ethics in The Adroit Journal. The poetry editor of Arc and the winner of the 2019 Battle of the Bards, Doyali lives in Toronto. www.doyali-islam.com
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, 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 poetry collections: Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010) and Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014) and is currently working on her third collection of ghazals.
Ashleigh Young is the author of the award-winning essay collection Can You Tolerate This? as well as a critically acclaimed book of poetry, Magniﬁcent Moon. The recipient of a 2017 Windham Campbell Prize in Non-fiction and an Ockham Award, among other honors, Young is an editor at Victoria University Press and teaches creative writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters. Supported by Creative New Zealand.