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Doyali Farah Islam

Doyali Farah Islam’s parents immigrated to Canada from Bangladesh.  She grew up in Toronto, lived in London, England for four years, and studied English and equity studies at the University of Toronto.  Her poems have appeared in a number of Canadian literary magazines including CV2 which published two of her prize winning poems in 2010 and 2015. Visit Doyali Islam’s personal website for current readings and radio interviews. Islam’s poem “Cat and Door” won the League of Canadian Poets’ inaugural National Broadsheet Contest in 2017.



Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2019.
PS8617 .S53 H44 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis

How does one inhabit a world in which the moon and the drone hang in the same sky? How can one be at home in one’s own body in the presence of suspected autoimmune illness, chronic/recurrent pain, and a society that bears down with a particular construct of normal female sexual experience? What might a daughter salvage within a fraught relationship with a cancer-stricken father? Uncannily at ease with both high lyricism and formal innovation and invention, these poems are unafraid to lift up and investigate burdens and ruptures of all kinds–psychic, social, cultural, physical, and political.

Providing continuity over the poet’s visually-arresting forms–including Islam’s self-termed split sonnets, double sonnets, and parallel poems–is allied remembrance of the resilience of the Palestinian people. Yet, the work doesn’t always stray far from home, with a quintet of astro-poems that weave together myth and memory.

Awards and Honours

2019 Alcuin Society Award for Excellence in Book Design–Poetry, designer Rachel Cooper (tied for 3rd prize)
2020 Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English (Finalist)


Yusuf and the Lotus Flower: Poems

Ottawa: BuschekBooks, 2011.

Publisher’s Synopsis

In this first collection from a discerning Canadian voice, Doyali Farah Islam draws you toward the same gentle listening place from which her verses pour.  Islam bares her inner journey of daily meditation and prayer–decanting in the process, from poet-self to page, bold images, fluid linguistic turns, delightful double meanings, startling word play, deep thought, and small insights. … Yusuf (Joseph) is a figure common to Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh, and yogic philosophy.  In distinct ways, both motifs symbolize beautiful tenacity throughout hardships. …

Awards and Honours

2012 da Vinci Eye Award (for cover artwork)(Finalist)


Doyali Farah Islam personal weblog

Publisher BuschekBooks

Publisher McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada