I have itemized
your   oak leaf   long limb   wild              

& have begun to name you things like
“summer eclipse 

in my offline calendar” or even “sleeping
under the stars 

in a Wal-Mart parking lot”
& honestly 

that kind of romance is okay with me
because secretly I have also named you “river of pine” 

& “blossoming spring flower along the path to
Mount Yamnuska.” 

There is also my skin and yours,
there is also the way skin & skin are two 

vastly different things
that this language has difficulty 

“every constellated mole” & 

“pillar of shade.”                
How all of these names describe the way 

we coexist                                                                     
& exist within one another— 

the way you disappear into the trees
& I follow.

by Alycia Pirmohamed 

Listen to Alycia read the poem here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

The Poetry Centre is excited to share with you the second selection from our forthcoming pamphlets – a poem from Alycia Pirmohamed’s new pamphlet Hinge, published this month by ignitionpress. Alongside Alycia’s pamphlet we are also delighted to publish Mia Kang’s City Poems and Hush by Majella Kelly, whose work we featured in the previous Weekly Poem. We will be sharing a poem from Mia’s pamphlet next week before we launch all three pamphlets at the Poetry Café in London on 20 February and at Waterstones in Oxford on 21 February. We’ll also be appearing at the Poetry Book Fair on 22 February (with a reading by Alycia and fellow ignitionpress poet Joanna Ingham), so do join us on one of these dates! You can find more details about tickets for the launches here

‘Endearments’ is copyright © Alycia Pirmohamed, 2020. It is reprinted from Hinge (ignitionpress, 2020) by permission of ignitionpress. The poem was first published in the April 2018 issue of Glass: A Journal of Poetry.

Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet currently living in Scotland. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh, where she is studying figurative homelands in poetry written by second-generation immigrant writers of South Asian descent. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. In 2018, Alycia’s chapbook Faces that Fled the Wind was selected by Camille Rankine for the BOAAT Press Chapbook Prize. Her other awards include the 92/Y Discovery Poetry Contest, the Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest in Poetry, the Adroit Journal’s Djanikian Scholars program, and the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in publications internationally, including The Paris Review DailyPrairie SchoonerBest Canadian PoetryGutter Magazine, and The London Magazine, among others. Alycia is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology They Rise Like A Wave: An Anthology of Asian American Women Poets, co-founder of The Scottish BAME Writers Network, and a submission reader for Tinderbox Poetry Journal. She has received support from The Royal Society of Literature, and from Calgary Arts Development via The City of Calgary. Find out more about Alycia’s work on her website and follow her on Twitter.

ignitionpress is a poetry pamphlet press from Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre with an international outlook which publishes original, arresting poetry from emerging poets, and established poets working on interim or special projects. 

The first eight pamphlets to be published by ignitionpress, featuring work by Lily Blacksell, Mary Jean Chan, Patrick James Errington, Natalie Whittaker, Belinda Zhawi, Joanna Ingham, Jennifer Lee Tsai, and Sarah Shapiro are available from our online Shop. Each pamphlet costs £5 and you can buy three for £12. You can find out more about the poets and their work on our dedicated page.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.