Another Way to Split Water
As part of Book Week Scotland, we are delighted to welcome Edinburgh-based poet Alycia Pirmohamed to Cample. Alycia will read from her debut collection of poems Another Way to Split Water (2022) in the context of our current exhibition – Jumana Emil Abboud’s The Unbearable Halfness of Being.
As with Jumana’s body of work, Alycia’s collection meditates on longing, belonging, unbelonging, intimacy and the natural world. In her poems, she explores how ancestral memory reforms and transforms throughout generations, through stories told and retold, imagined and reimagined.
As Susan Mansfield writes, water imagery predominates in the poems; they are full of reflections and doublings: ‘It might be as a reflective surface, a prairie downpour, an ocean over which a Boeing aircraft carries migrating travellers to a new country.’
Alycia has said: ‘I wanted these poems to cross borders, to delve in and out of memory – to leak into dream worlds where mule deer in Alberta bound into snow and emerge again in childhood memories of Dar es Salaam.’
We have also commissioned Alycia to write a response to Jumana’s exhibition, which will available in December. Alycia will share some of her work on this as part of the event.
Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet based in Scotland. She is the author of Another Way to Split Water, published by Polygon (UK) and YesYes Books (US). Alycia is the co-founder of the Scottish BPOC Writers Network, a co-organiser of the Ledbury Poetry Critics Program, and she currently teaches on the MSt Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge. She was also winner of the 2020 Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize.