Poetry. Women's Studies. FIRESMOKE continues in the tradition of the ghazal that formed the author's first book, BLEEDING LIGHT. A ghazal is a poetic form dating back to seventh-century Persia, consisting of couplets and a refrain, in which, traditionally, each line contains the same meter or length. In the last couplet of each ghazal, the poet often refers to him- or herself. When a fire burns, ashes fall to the ground (form), and smoke ascends to the sky (emptiness). FIRESMOKE examines the relationship between form and emptiness, and asks the question of how fire can arise from both life and death. FIRESMOKE also explores the notion of the feminine principle, the alchemy of nature and the impermanence of life.
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, artist 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 collections of poetry: BLEEDING LIGHT (Mawenzi House, 2010) and FIRESMOKE (Mawenzi House, 2014), both of which have been taught at the University of Toronto. Her writing has been published in a variety of publications, including Quill & Quire, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press, 2019).