Salimah Valiani has a new collection of poetry titled 29 leads to love. The collection was published by Inanna Publications on June 24, 2021. It explores Valiani’s view of love across cities, landscapes, environments, and time.
While love is the organizing theme of the collection, the book also looks at history, movement, migration, loss, and healing. Some of the poems describe places, people, and architecture across historical moments. In the poem titled “Mexico City or, On love (vii),” magnificent historical buildings and features of Mexico are contrasted with glimpses of present everyday life and struggles in a stunning play of imagery.
Readers interested in lyrical descriptions of various places and how love can change and heal our world will enjoy this collection. Farzana Doctor, author of SEVEN, praises Valiani’s work as “an paean to love that is political, transformative and global. Her words–precise, evocative and justice-seeking–take us to streets of New Delhi, Mexico, Johannesburg, and Manila, showing and teaching us that love is more than what we can imagine.” In another celebration of the collection, CBC News describes Valiani’s goal aiming to “define this larger love, avoiding the more pervasive love poems that focus on romance and individual healing, and ultimately proffering that love is the means to transformative change in the twenty-first century.” The collection speaks to Valiani’s experiences, which sit at the intersection of various cultural influences. Her mother is from Uganda and her father is from Tanzania. Also, she has lived in many cities around the world for extended periods of time.
Read the publishers description below.
In a world barely beginning to recognize itself as dazzlingly multihued, the erupting ecocide is teaching that while no accounting of complexity is complete, change is true and the sky, singular. We are of parts fundamentally interconnected and overlapping.If we choose it, this overlapping can become a continuum. A continuum of movement combined with still-ness, individuality reaching for the whole, loss and surrender, abandon and opening. And of falling: an ever-falling, toward the intensive care that is love.
Bio: 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 stays in various places such as London in the UK, New York City, and Cape Town. She has published four collections of poetry: breathing for breadth (2005); Letter Out: Letter In (2009); land of the sky (2016); and Cradles (2017). Her latest publication is the poem-story titled,” Dear South Africa,” one of seven pieces in Praxis Magazine’s 2019-2020 Chapbook Series.
To learn more about her work, go here.
Buy 29 leads to love: Inanna Publications