We go Wandering at Night and are Consumed by Fire

WGW front cover - draft

My new poetry book from Sidekick Books is a collaboration with London-based visual artist Heather McArthur. The poem and illustrations tell the story of a journey through a dark, mysterious city.

The project was initiated by the editors at Sidekick Books, and Heather and I worked together remotely, living on opposite sides of the Atlantic and exchanging words and images over the internet.  We developed a joint vision early on through conversations by email and Skype, and then worked simultaneously, each in her own medium, to make that vision real, exchanging our work as we completed it. We never met in person until the book launch in London. I loved working on this project and I feel proud of what we created together.

Below are two glimpses into the book, showing my words and Heather’s vibrant, atmospheric images.

Page of We Go Wandering

 

Page from We Go Wandering2jpg

 

 

New Poems in Two Anthologies

Aquanauts.

Aquanauts, from Sidekick Books, is a poetry anthology focused on all things aquatic: ‘sharks and skates, subs and spookfish, vile jellies and sorrowful shipwrecks’. It’s especially innovative because it’s also interactive; there are pages for the reader to record their own aquatic observations, ideas and findings. Sidekick Books specialize in themed, multi-poet anthologies which I find exciting both as a reader and as a writer because they have a way of drawing out unexpected and excellent writing from everyone involved and are always visually appealing.

I wrote a poem for this anthology about the wreck of the SS America. It’s a calligram, a form I hadn’t used before. One of the reasons I love writing for Sidekick Books publications is that I always end up surprising myself and enriching my repertoire as a poet. If you write poetry, I recommend looking out for their open calls for submissions, which you can find on their website

Bad Kid Catullus, also from Sidekick Books, is an anthology of new, highly creative versions of Catullus poems by poets including Vahni Capildeo, Eileen Pun, Kirsten Irving, Claire Trévien, Jon Stone and  Abigail Parry.  I wrote two poems for this anthology, one translating a Catullus poem into 19th century English slang using Captain Grose’s 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue and another recasting a poem as Tolkienesque  fantasy fiction.  As with Aquanauts, Bad Kid Catullus includes plenty of visual art as well as opportunities for the reader to customize their copy through suggested activities.

 

Catullus.jpg

 

 

 

 

Reading at Curley’s Diner, Stamford CT

I’ll be reading from Desert Sunflowers at Stamford’s  Curley’s Diner on May 5th, as part of the Poem Alley reading and discussion series organized by the poet, teacher and local poetry hero Ralph Nazareth.

The poetry crowd at Curley’s, mostly poets themselves, is always welcoming and enthusiastic and I’m looking forward to reading for them.

Curley’s Poets / 2015

Rowyda Amin

at Curley’s Diner in Stamford

62 West Park Place. Stamford, CT (203) 348 2020

May 5, 2015

7:30 p.m.

All are welcome.

Desert Sunflowers

My twenty-poem chapbook, Desert Sunflowers, is out now from flipped eye. You can get it in the UK and in the USA.

A little sample:

 9 Carrot Poem

Troubling glint – swallowed goldfish

confer sub rosa.

Chrysanthemum lanterns illuminate

a silent house.

The jeunesse dorée, pinkies out,

sip ochre marmalade.

Tigers in straw

ambush martian minotaur.

Gilded girls sleep in rows,

under green lace and dandelion.

Goldbugs turn dung beetle, dig

pyritic coprolites.

Ginger-headed mummies pickle

in mandarin vats.

Votives of haw and amber

kindle under ground.

Hennaed hands torch

like Van Gogh’s beard.

 

‘I, Detritus’ by Dzifa Benson on toegoodpoetry.com

In my capacity as guest editor at Toe Good, I’ve had the pleasure in the past few months of presenting poems by some wonderfully talented people, including Nia Davies, Agnes Lehoczky, Mona Arshi and Sascha Aurora Akhtar.

My latest selection is by Dzifa Benson, and is called ‘I, Detritus’.  Benson’s poems are compelling, mythical; rich in language, imagery and allusion.  She’s a blogger too, and sistersirensroom  contains her observations and comments on literature, culture and the sources of her inspiration.