Delighted to be the feature reader at Russell Books at 747 Fort Street in Victoria this Nov 12, reading from my epic fantasy in verse, Bramah and The Beggar Boy. Susan Braley will be the Poetic Opener.
I’ll be introducing Bramah, the hero of my saga, a time-travelling locksmith who joins with seed savers and orphans battling the evil Consortium. Themes include climate change and climate justice; global inequality; and an exploration of family origins. The poetry incorporates formal epic traditions plus a love story for the ages.
Doors open at 7:00pm, event begins at 7:30pm. Sign up for the open mic between 7:00 and 7:15. As per the latest provincial health orders, the event will require all attendees to wear masks and to bring proof of vaccination. Hope to see you there!
Set in an alternative world ravaged by climate change, the book recounts the tale of Bramah, a ‘brown, brave and beautiful’ time-travelling locksmith. After she adopts an orphan beggar boy, the pair team up with seed savers and other survivors, using their magic to outwit an evil consortium and battle contagion, drought and other eco catastrophes.
The book may sound like a far cry from the work that first put Saklikar on Canada’s literary map. Published in 2013, her award-winning debut poetry book children of air india explored the bombing of Air India Flight 182, a tragedy that claimed the lives of her aunt and uncle, and more than 300 others. Almost as an antidote to this traumatic subject matter, Saklikar began writing Bramah at the same time, indulging her love for imaginative, sweeping sagas.
‘Every culture has its great epic,’ she says. ‘I’ve always been drawn to them, the fireside stories of the matriarch telling you about how the world is, and inside of that frame, very personal stories.’”
Renee Sarojini Saklikar’s epic journey, Bramah and the Beggar Boy, unfolds as a futuristic folklore in a long poetic form. This book is a unique read. The language draws the reader in for closer inspection, and each selected word is like an arrow shot through a bow, hitting its mark; deliberate, impactful.
I step onto the disc. Spin. Spin. Spin. The verses and rhymes poetically layer on top of each other, elevating me, taking me places I’ve never been. I chase different dimensions. Just as I’m about to understand where I am, the mix master deftly sends me crashing through a portal to only have to rebuild once more. Another beat. Another layer. Another crash. The bad outweighs the good. Hope is being erased. But hope can never be eviscerated; it’s hope; it has its own pulse and thundering beat.”