BWS 08.05.19: Doyali Islam

Doyali Islam. Photo by Arden Wray

Doyali Islam‘s brand-new poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019) – a lyrical and innovative collection that the poet describes as a “ledger of tenderness, survival, and risk.” Poems from heft have been published in Kenyon Review Online and Best Canadian Poetry, and have been rendered into film through Visible Poetry Project. Doyali is the poetry editor of Arc Poetry Magazine, and she lives in Toronto. In 2017, she was a guest on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition.


I wasn’t sure what to write for this blog, so I thought I’d provide a little fun in advance of my May 8th reading! I hope you enjoy this small game!

Poetry Quiz: heft

How to Play: Each of the six images below matches up with one of the six poem excerpts from my new book, heft (McClelland & Stewart, March 2019). Have fun guessing the matches!

ant carrying grain of rice (2)


aries [the ram]



hands and dove

* “because i see / your shadow fatten, tumour-like, i say, look, / silverthorn’s tree. (one autumn we gathered / the fallen, fly-bitten pears to knock down // better fruit.) we walk, and i want to share / what i wish you had known – that love is built / not found”


* “my hairdresser, llisa, / untangles again & again the knot / of one question”


* “so, it traced / the perimeter of its plastic cage, / wondering at the hard unseeable edge, / hurrying to make sense of its enclosure.”


* i admit none of this would matter // if you, father, were not born stubborn ram / and i, libra”


* “& because / when has my dating life ever turned out, / i decide, for once, to be prudent & / selfish – to take this one thing, store it away / for winter, here in this poem, this ledger / of tender”


* “in four directions let the body move / a hand                                 a dove”

Doyali Islam visits Brockton Writers Series on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at Glad Day Bookshop, 499 Church Street, Toronto, starting at 6:30pm (PWYC) alongside Paul Vermeersch, Andrew Gurza, Andrea Bain, and guest speaker Yilin Wang who will  be giving us guidance on “Submitting to Literary and Genre Magazines.”



Leave a comment

Filed under Writers & Performers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s