Poetry. Using post-Apartheid South Africa as a point from which to reflect on Canada and beyond, LETTER OUT: LETTER IN is a poetry collection of social commentary, political-economic analysis, and philosophical meditation. Historic and persisting structures of racism, sexism and economic inequality are explored, but also the nature of gender and ethnic divisions within and among oppressed groups. Moving from critique, LETTER OUT: LETTER IN further proposes love as an alternative to the binary of competition/solidarity so prevalent in Western thought. The Sufi notion of love is defined and redefined at recurring moments in the collection, making use of poetic subtlety to offer a new vision in a fractured world.
Salimah Valiani is a poet, activist, and researcher. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, of a Ugandan mother and Tanzanian father, like her parents, Salimah left home in her late teenage years and began a journey of study and work that included extended stays in Montreal, Quebec; London (UK); New York City and Binghamton (USA); Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario; and Cape Town, South Africa. She has published four collections of poetry: breathing for breadth (2005); LETTER OUT: LETTER IN (Inanna Publications, 2009); LAND OF SKY (Inanna Publications, 2016); Cradles (2017); and 29 LEADS TO LOVE (Inanna Publications, 2021). Her latest publication is the poem-story, "Dear South Africa," one of seven pieces in Praxis Magazine's 2019-2020 Chapbook Series.Author City: TORONTO, ON CAN