Doyali Islam; photo: Sanchuri Sur
Here’s the latest Creator to Creator interview from Project 40 Collective, featuring the poet Doyali Islam talking about her creative career, what draws her to poetry, inspiration, current themes, and her favorite noodle.
Her poetry makes me look at everything that I have known, that I see, that I imagine, and see beauty and meaning in them. Her poems pick you up and set you down in places and times: to the door where the cat crouches in cat and door, to her mother’s “cramped mustard kitchen,” to Yugoslavia in 1944, to the South Hebron hills. Her poems influence me to write and to observe! I am humbled by her writing.
Read through to the very end to read her thoughts on my art.
I am honoured to be a part of Project 40 Collective‘s Creator to Creator series. In the August 10, 2017 issue, I am interviewed by Mirae Lee about my artistic life and process. Following the interview, I answer questions about one of my favourite Asian-Canadian poets, Doyali Islam.
Doyali’s poems make you see the beauty and meaning in everything. They pick you up and set you down in places and times: to the door where the cat crouches, to her mother’s “cramped mustard kitchen,” to Yugoslavia in 1944, to the South Hebron hills. For more, visit her website https://doyalifarahislam.com/
The first angel was an accident. In my darkest time, the angels that followed were like the work I’d done years before, of demons and almost-humans that reflected my life and observations and what came to me in the night.
Then it came time to put the darkness away. I began to paint angels that would keep watch over us. Now I believe in Happy. I think that if you believe, you can find it.
When I was still in the dark place, I wrote a poem,
only feathers string me up across the sky, one nudge or wrinkle and I fall, crash through violet dusk and skyscrapers, this wingless, landlocked, flattened creature of despair
that described the fragile threads/feathers that kept me from falling through the sky. I drew a version of the poem, and what appeared shortly after on my canvas was an angel that hovered above the city, pulled upward by her wings. People saw in her what they needed to: a guardian angel, an angel of hope or an angel of sorrow. That painting is Angel Over the City.