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.’”
Poet Renée Sarojini Saklikar kicks off a multi-part series about survivors of ecological destruction with Bramah and the Beggar Boy. Inspired by fairy tales, the first instalment is about a woman named Bramah and a beggar boy living in an abandoned village. They find fragments of an ancient text, and slowly piece together the story of what happened to the planet, and why they live the way they do.”
“Chris Turnbull is the author of Continua(Ottawa: Chaudiere Books 2015; Picton: Invisible Publishing 2019) and [ untitled ] in o w n (Vancouver: CUE Books 2014), one of a trio of poetry books alongside work by Heather Hermant and angela rawlings. Chapbook publications include Shingles (Vancouver: Thuja 1999); continua 1-22 (Ottawa: above/ground 2010); and The Great Canadian (Buffalo: Low Frequency Press 2015), which combines images from Turnbull’s site-specific rout/e project and text from rawling’s forthcoming echolology. Undertones, a collaborative chapbook with text/artist Bruno Neiva, is emerging with Low Frequency Press in 2019.
In addition to new work, Renee Saklikar will read from her sci-fi epic chapbooks (highly collectible!): the first chapbook 2016 by the late Martha Reed (Nous Zot Press); the second, ‘After the Battle of Kingsway. The Bees’, (2016; 2019), above/ground press (finalist for the 2017 bpNichol award); the third, by Nomados Press (2017); and the fourth, ‘from The Book of Bramah'(2019), above/ground press.”
The launch is a free event, and gets underway at 7:00 pm. Located at 1391 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, V5L 3X5. See you there!
This week on Friday, I’ll be launching my new chapbook, THOT-J-BAP: extractions from Nomados Press alongside Marguerite Pigeon and her chapbook, My Model Poem. Hope to see you there!
Like the bees who populate it, Saklikar’s THOT-J-BAP is humming, productive, and vital, performing an urgent gathering of specimens amassed, dissipated, and recollected from which it extracts ‘those gems they would steal’: fragments of stories, of love, of violence, of remembering, of ‘what once was, compressed.’ This is fecund, fabulous work.”
– Catriona Strang
I always have my eye out for a truly ambitious poetry—and here it is, epic in scope, running through its own newly-created dimension just outside of recognizable time and space, a mobile world moving by, line by line, touching “what hurts, what helps, what heals,” transformed. Saklikar manages a near perfect merger of forward-momentum narrative and paratactic detail where each word is a hypnotically pronounced incantation, the story pulled into glittering erotic fragments, each piece a world in itself, glowing, refracting, the ambition of the part to overwhelm the whole. THOT-J-BAP is poetry to lose and find yourself in. I’m hooked.”
– Stephen Collis
Date: Friday, November 3 at 8 PM – 10 PM Time: 8:00-10:00pm Location:People’s Co-op Bookstore, 1391 Commercial Drive, Vancouver