Reminders on the Path

Infused with the language of place, the poems in this collection are stepping-stones from the author’s past to her present, from forgetfulness to remembrance, from unknowing to a deep knowing found only through direct experience. Here, the poet is wayfarer: at each step she sees reminders of the ephemeral and the indelible. All serve as guideposts to cross the threshold of the self.

Praise for Reminders on the Path

“Sheniz Janmohamed’s poems are complex moments of meditation. These are small tender poems that you might find along the edge of a labyrinth along with rosebuds, lovers, and ‘flame-tipped tulips.’ A great-granddaughter’s search for connection to family, to land that was settled, and the land forgotten; these poems are the salt of her DNA. A successful third collection of poetry from a perceptive and practised poet.”
–Sharanpal Ruprai, author of Pressure Cooker Love Bomb and Seva

“In this poignant and evocative collection of poems, the talented Sheniz invites us to join her on intersecting journeys across and beyond time and space; nostalgic journeys which elegantly interweave the material with the spiritual, the forgotten and the remembered, the past and the present in breathtakingly transformative ways.”
– Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University

“The stirring poetry in this restive, wistful, poignant collection cannot help but move those in whom ‘the sand of the present erases the footprints of the past.’ In Sheniz Janmohamed’s Reminders on the Path, we find a magnificent homage to the diasporic experience, one many of us will hear echoing in our own souls.”
– Shafique N. Virani, Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Toronto

Lyrics of longing and surrender float down the pages of Sheniz Janmohamed’s startling third collection Reminders on the Path. Here, ghazals are not just couplets of emotion, free verse is not without form, these are the precise political unravelings of a human being living on Turtle Island with a heart that beats in Sufic Persia.
Tawhida Tanya Evanson, author of Book of Wings

“A richly evocative (re)collection in which Janmohamed turns the language of loss into a grammar of Presence. Tracing the movements of her generational forebears through crossings from India to East Africa to North America, this gifted mystic poet reminds us that while our outer journeys bring dislocations too heavy to bear, our inner journeys bring us back to a shattered heart that finds, in its re-membering, healing and wholeness in the present.”
– Zayn Kassam, Professor of Religious Studies, Pomona College


Sheniz Janmohamed’s second collection continues the poet’s journey, tracing the inception and annihilation of sacred fire. In a series of highly evocative, personal poems, Firesmoke explores the meaning of truth and the self, finding them both in form and emptiness. In her unorthodox, broadminded quest for understanding, Sheniz evokes the teachings of Sufism, acknowledges the restorative power of the Mother Goddess and honours the alchemy of nature. Life and death do not exist without each other, just as fire produces both ash and smoke, one falling to the ground, the other rising into space.

Praise for Firesmoke

“Wondrously impactful Firesmoke, evinces a rare poetic genius in capturing oppositional impulses in Nature and seamlessly sutures form with content to provoke the reader to journey with the poet to boundless territories that are at once undergirded in the Natural world and manifest in the worlds of our imagination. Thus Life and Death, Loss and Victory, Fire and Water — all become part of the poet’s lexicon, which she has developed through an impressive imagism: the crow, rivulets, the sari, Goddess Durga, are all a part of her linguascape and each signifies a certain ideology or philosophy. Sheniz has ascended from her first collection of poetry Bleeding Light and yet that signature spark of passion continues to assert itself through the new collection. Felicitous, forceful, feminist and fecund, Sheniz is a powerful voice with a refreshing resonance among the best new Canadian voices. Her poems espouse a system of love-based faith which celebrates life and revival in the midst of death and decay, and presents a Sufism that looks back and races forward in the age of instant communication.”

– Julie Mehta, academic and author of Dance of Life: The Mythology, History and Politics of Cambodian Culture

Bleeding Light

Bleeding Light is a collection of poems in ghazal form that traces the steps of a woman’s journey through night. She knows that in order to witness dawn, she has to travel through dusk first. Throughout her journey, she is caught between West and East, religion and heresy, love and anti-love, darkness and the knowledge of light. Each couplet is an independent thought and reflection, a pearl strung into a necklace. Bleeding Light is fraught with opposing, stark and often violent imagery heavily influenced by Sufi philosophy.

Praise for Bleeding Light

“Sheniz Janmohamed is one of a very few new poets who has mastered the form of the ghazal in a way that brings together the emotional aspects of the form and the expectations of the listeners who know the form and its cultural unity: mystic illumination, rhyme, refrains that exude passion, and couplets with wise insights. The couplets in her eloquent and appealing ghazals dazzle one with their precision, sudden turns and brilliant use of the cultural memory of language and imagery.”

– The late Dr. Kuldip Gill (Professor, Poet and Mentor)

“Bleeding Light is a beautiful compilation of contemporary Sufi poetry that combines creative imagination with artistic majesty. These ghazals of Sheniz Janmohamed bring to light an all too often forgotten classical poetic sensitivity of longing for the Divine and praising the arrival of the Beloved. It is my hope that these poems find wide readership for such beauty will enrich the lives of those who contemplate the visions within them.”

– Meena Sharify-Funk, author of Encountering the Transnational: Women, Islam and the Politics of Interpretation 

“Janmohamed’s ghazals seem to echo across both time and space”

– Awaaz Magazine

“Seldom have I read poetry that makes me feel like I’m traveling across a spiritually charged landscape, where I don’t know whether my feet are touching water or land. Or is it both?”

– Fez Meghani, Producer, Musician and Devotional Singer (Dallas, Texas)

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