Introducing: Morning Poems
My debut poetry collection spills into the gap between sleep and its other. Order your copy & join me on 02 December for its launch in Toronto.
What happens in that moment of waking? Who goes there, wading in between dream and gesture? How images appear and fade in the same turn?
Morning Poems, my first collection of poetry, sifts through these questions — and surely others yet to bubble up from the subconscious. It is published this month with San Press — a micropress in Toronto publishing zines, chapbooks, and experimental zine objects.
“Darian Razdar’s debut poetry collection emerges in the liminal space of dawn, before consciousness has fully gathered itself. Meditating on the worlds that hover between and beyond maps, Morning Poems dreams in language elemental, atmospheric and slow.”
Morning Poems are available to order via San Press’ online store and may be shipped to you or picked up in-person at our launch event (more below. . .). A very limited very special edition of the chapbook is also available with a wraparound washi papercut sleeve by designer and artist, Abby Ho.
Then, we will launch Morning Poems alongside Emily Lu’s There is no wifi in the afterlife at Crimson Teas in Toronto’s downtown Chinatown from 5:00 - 7:30PM on Saturday 02 Decemeber, 2023. Come enjoy our poems (including a guest reading by writer, editor and poet Trynne Delaney!) and stay for a hot meal and cup of tea. RSVP for the double book launch by clicking here!*
*Seats are NOT limited to 25!!! Eventbrite is now paywalled beyond 25 seats. If Eventbrite is maxxed out, you’re still more than welcome to join*
I wrote the first sketchs of Morning Poems in the twilight hours of Spring and Summer 2022. Inspired by the morning work thatshared at a literary salon earlier that year, I kept a journal and pen on my bedside table and committed to writing as soon as dawn woke me up from my westward attic window.
I wrote in a haze, stretched in bed, scratched down words, and most often fell back asleep, only to rewake and start my day dozens of minutes later. Days or weeks passed before I’d return to my scratches, marvelling in what I found. The longer I kept on with this practice, the more I realized that something was there, and the more I knew I wanted to make something of this work.
In Autumn 2022, I worked on the very first very rough manuscript with Trynne, whose careful questions and suggestions around abstraction and poetic intention propelled my editing process forward. This was my first time assembling a collection of poetry, and Trynne’s insight steadied my course. By the end of that year, and four or five manuscript edits later, I had a collection I was ready to take to publishers.
On Morning Poems’ way to finding its home with San Press, a couple of its pieces found their own way into the world. First, in Vallum: Contemporary Poem (20:1), “Nest” appears. It was one of the first morning poems, one that really got me excited to continue. Then, with The Blasted Tree, a simple and elegant hand-pressed rendition of “Void” made its way into the word via publisher Kyle Flemmer’s handicraft.
Then, in Summer 2023, I took an online poetry course called “Like Dreamers Do” taught by Zoe Tuck via The Poetry Project. Zoe’s course explored dream poetry and cinema through 10 weekly readings, watchings and class discussions among a community of writers and artists. This class totally changed the way I saw Morning Poems. It opened new ways for me to relate the collection to dream world (beyond the level of dream analysis) and new words to talk about it in relation to other artists' dream work.
During that time, I worked alongside San Press’ Jasmine Gui and Abby Ho to refine the poems to their final form and dream up a book design that does them justice. Jasmine and Abby gave this collection its final form. San sent the book to print in risograph Hunter Green and Gold at Vide Press earlier this past Autumn.
Seeing the chapbook printed for the first time was a marvel. The feeling of working closely with a project for over a year, shaping and reshaping it, witnessing the work of my editors, designers, and publishers — it gives me hope. Admist the harsh absurdity of life and death, and particularly the violence canada and united states governments and corporations are abetting against Palestinians and Conoglese, hope is utterly contingent yet absolutely necessary.
I’m looking forward to celebrate the launch of Morning Poems with you on 02 December in Toronto and for you to get your hands on a copy. Place your orders for the chapbook and its special edition at the following link while supplies (proverbally) last: https://tehstudio.ca/Studio-Press-Shop.
If you’ve made it this far (and you’re a writer writing in so-called canada) I encourage you to read & sign this open letter in support of those who interrupted the Scotiabank Giller Prize award last week. These protestors called attention to Scotiabank’s complicity in Israel’s genocide of Palestinians and are now facing charges. For those in Toronto, there’s free staged readings of The Gaza Monologues occuring at Theatre Passe Muraille on the 27 and 29 November, RSVP here.