Sadiqa de Meijer's poetry has been published in Poetry Magazine, the Walrus, Poetry London, and other journals, as well as in several anthologies, including The Next Wave (Palimpsest Press), Villanelles (Everyman's Library), and The Best of Canadian Poetry series (Biblioasis). Her first book of poems, Leaving Howe Island (Oolichan Books), was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her poems been awarded Arc's Poem of the Year Prize, the CBC Poetry Prize, and This Magazine's Great Canadian Literary Hunt. Themes in her writing include landscape, migration, identity, racialization, motherhood and medicine. Her latest collection is The Outer Wards (Vehicule Press, 2020).
Yes, I read poems - and also paid a lot of attention to song lyrics... One poem that I loved enough to tape to my wall was Amiri Baraka's 'Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note.' I liked its playful images, the musicality of its sounds, and the moving closing lines. I thought the title strangely hopeful - someone who was writing a preface to such a long note was clearly going to take a long time to live and write. Their love for the world was clear.
Oh, there was a wide interval between those two things. I started playing with verse early, as a child. I probably allowed myself to inhabit the identity of poet about 25 years later, when I started consistenly publishing in journals and was working on my first full manuscript.
Poetry is a translation of forms of silence into words.
There is so much incredible work there... But to name just one: Kaie Kellough's 'Mantra of No Return' is a poem that really speaks to me, and I would love to know it by heart.