Doyali Islam is the editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and has published two poetry books. Her first was the book Yusuf and the Lotus Flower, published in 2011, followed by heft in 2019. Her second book looks at the nature of illness, pain and sexuality and explores the notion of home in light of chronic pain and suspected autoimmune illness. The Toronto-based writer's work has appeared in anthologies like The Best Canadian Poetry in English: 2018, The Unpublished City: Volume 1 and Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology.
CBC Books named Islam a writer to watch in 2019.
- 19 Canadian writers to watch in 2019
- Doyali Islam and the poetry of stillness
- Why Doyali Islam believes poetry and the physical body are connected
Books by Doyali Islam
"I think poetry is a physical art. I love poetry because when I'm reading poetry or when I'm writing poetry, it allows me to trespass into so many things: gentleness, curiosity, anger, unexpected kinship, tenderness and longing. When I have a poem close to me, and have it memorized, I inhabit my body better when I recite as I walk. It's a physical feeling of something pressing urgently at my chest. Then I know I'm in the terrain of poetry and that there's something that I want to work through in a poem; something I want to question.
I think poetry is a physical art.- Doyali Islam
"I always think about the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi. He said if a part of the body is in pain, all of the other parts of the body contract with pain. If you are not concerned with another human's suffering we shall not call you human. I honestly don't understand how people can go about their day and not feel so impinged upon by injustice, but also by the ways that people rebuild their lives."