The Institute is delighted to announce the release of our latest book, Our Time Is A Garden: New Nature Writing by Women and Nonbinary Writers of Colour, edited by Dr Alycia Pirmohamed. This is the first poetry collection published by IASH, and features works by a range of writers including Anthony Ezekiel (Vahni) Capildeo, Tim Tim Cheng, Marjorie Lotfi, Nina Mingya Powles, Jeda Pearl and two winners of the 2022 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, Titilayo Farukuoye and Roshni Gallagher. Dr Pirmohamed's work is also featured, as well as commentaries on the poems, and a list of further reading related to nature writing.
Dr Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet based in the UK, and was the Junior Anniversary Fellow at IASH in 2021-22. She was previously a postdoctoral Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Liverpool. In 2020, Alycia was the winner of the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Alycia is the author of the chapbooks Hinge (ignitionpress), both a 2020 Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Recommendation and shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award, and Faces that Fled the Wind, selected by Camille Rankine for the 2018 BOAAT Press Chapbook Prize. In 2021, her chapbook Second Memory, a creative non-fiction piece co-authored with Pratyusha, was co-published with Baseline Press (Canada) and Guillemot Press (UK). Alycia was the winner of the 2020 Pamet River Prize and her debut poetry collection, Another Way to Split Water was published with YesYes Books (US) and Polygon Books (UK) in 2022.
Dr Pirmohamed outlines the genesis of the book, contributing to the Institute Project on Decoloniality:
"Our Time Is A Garden" is part of a larger research project on radical landscape poetry. Five workshops were co-facilitated by artists and academics working in various areas of ecological writing. All the writers included in the pamphlet attended this workshop series as either attendees or guest speakers. The programme was open to poets at all stages in their careers and from any educational background. It aimed to develop writing skills and promote knowledge exchange by sharing interdisciplinary art and research.
Dr Shari Sabeti from the University of Edinburgh joined the course as a researcher of arts education to help explore how these sessions contributed to accessible learning, activism, and a sense of belonging or identity formation for participants. The workshops also aimed to decolonise the literary arts in Scotland, primarily by supporting the development of, and creating space for, new nature writing by women and nonbinary writers of colour.
The cover image is titled "Under the Canopy" by Anupa Gardner http://www.anupagardner.com/ The image copyright is held by the artist, and all rights are reserved. Book design by Bill Walsh.