WOMEN WIDE AWAKE is a collection of stories, poems, and visual art exploring folklore from the region of Sindh, Pakistan. This multi-genre book features stories of women, witches, sea monsters, and mystical saints, accompanied by art and poetry. Collectively they explore themes that have resonated with people for centuries—acts of courage, strength, defiance, and love. Two sisters build a labyrinthine palace to test their suitors . . . a woman swims across a treacherous river at night to meet her forbidden lover . . . a bartendress makes a grave mistake. These folktales have persisted across generations and national boundaries through ritual storytelling and song. The sculptures were created using reclaimed materials: sari fabric, wedding invitations, flowers, shells, and animal bones.
Fiction. Poetry. Hybrid. Art. Middle Eastern Studies. Collaboration.
Manahil Bandukwala (she/her), right, is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of MONUMENT, and many chapbooks. She enjoys working collaboratively, and in addition to Reth aur Reghistan, frequently collaborates with other writers, musicians, and artists in Canada. She holds an MA in English from the University of Waterloo and and in 2023, was selected as a Writer's Trust Rising Star by Shani Mootoo. manahilbandukwala.com.
Nimra Bandukwala (she/her) is a visual artist and maker of crafts using foraged and found materials. More recently, she has been integrating earth pigments and natural dyes into her practice while exploring the stories and histories behind these materials. She is a recipient of arts grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Nimra has facilitated community-engaged workshops with folks of all ages and abilities in schools and community-based settings. nimrabandukwala.com; Instagram @nimrabandukwala.art