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The Golden Thread | Bloodaxe Books
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Amali Gunasekera

The Golden Thread

Amali Gunasekera

Publication Date : 22 Mar 2022

ISBN: 9781780375984

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Blending the sacred and the everyday, Amali Gunasekera’s second collection The Golden Thread is a search for grace through the deep process of transmuting emotional trauma into peace.

She takes up Muriel Rukeyser’s famous line: ‘What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.’ Her book’s central sequence, Nine [Miscarried] Methods, considers the challenge of asserting a woman’s equal status within a patriarchal objectified culture.

Approaching the polemic or the existential with a gentle touch, this is poetry as lyric essay, mysterious and shapeshifting as sunlight on water. Formally, the poems explore the instability of the lyric ‘I’ and the addressed ‘You’. Often there is no static vantage point; instead, the ‘I’ and ‘You’ are verbs in a state of becoming. Their very unfixity reflects dynamic systems in the natural world where elements are constantly interacting and altering their natures.

These poems also respond to Wilfred Bion’s notion of ‘Thoughts Without a Thinker’ and Carl Jung’s ‘Collective Unconscious’: through a rich symbolic system they simultaneously hold two dimensions of time; the linear Chronos of our material world, and the vertical Kairos or spiritual time. Thus, the field of this collection is holographic, in search of new co-ordinates, always beholden to something just beyond sight.

Amali Gunasekera was born and grew up in Sri Lanka. She works in the field of Archetypal Psychology. After living in Mozambique, Kenya and India, she is now based in Cumbria. Her first collection, Lotus Gatherers, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016 (under her former name of Amali Rodrigo).

'The Golden Thread positions Gunasekera, who grew up in Sri Lanka and is now based in Cumbria, as one of our deftest writers of environmental flux and change... Her poetry is constantly innovating with the language of environmental description at the same time that she explores her personal experience...This collection makes “the green mind” visible to us: the breathing, thinking agency of the more-than-human world.' - Rebecca Tamás, The Guardian (best recent poetry)

'Quiet contemplation in these poems often leads to a sense of discovery: that the world we live in is more wondrous than we can imagine. Between what is possible and the why of the yearned for, there is a long road.' - Leo Boix, Magma

'Amali Gunasekera's second collection is a beautiful examination of the separateness and union of "I" and "You", rooted in an English pastoral tradition reminiscent of Wordsworth and the Lake Poets. Myth, the natural world, the ephemeral beauty of music or the filter of light on a wintry morning, unite to articulate love for the "Beloved". These are masterful poems of intimacy and joy leading to places of stillness and wisdom.' – Shash Trevett, PBS Bulletin

'Amali Gunasekera was born and grew up in Sri Lanka and now lives in Cumbria. Her new collection, The Golden Thread, is full of beautiful, intimate and lyrical poems.' - Will Mackie, New Writing North (New and Recent Poetry from the North: Spring 2022)

'These are quiet, soulful poems, that build on each other and calm a frenzied world, acknowledging the golden thread that binds everything together.' - Mary Mulholland, The Alchemy Spoon

‘This collection holds so much of what it means to be human in the world, to find our own ways to feel within the collective, both as an animal and as a part of nature... The Golden Thread is so wholly, so beautifully realized that it’s the perfect prelude to summer’s beginning.’ - Angela María Spring, Washington Independent Review of Books (On Poetry: June 2022)

Responses to Lotus Gatherers

'What makes Rodrigo a truly remarkable poet? In part, it's the breadth and intelligence of her vision (and broad and intelligent it certainly is, taking us to Japan, Kenya, the North Pole; from Kintsugi and Ikebana to whirling dervishes and meteor showers); in part, the deftness with which she can work that vision into a world we can marvel at, but also recognise. This is a world of paradoxes - exotic and familiar, a deeply spiritual world which delights in passion; that celebrates love, but does not hesitate to focus on unsettling histories of gender violence. Lotus Gatherers is an astonishingly sensual book, in the literal sense – these are poems we can feel; poems we can hear resonating on the page, aromatic poems, laced with breathtaking imagery; poems we can hold up to our lips and taste.’ – John Glenday

‘The first full collection from Amali Rodrigo – a poet who has lived between Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Kenya and India – is both formally sophisticated and impressively diverse, reflecting the breadth of cultures and traditions informing its contents.’ – Daisy Lafarge, The Poetry Review

'A native of Sri Lanka, Rodrigo writes complex iridescent poems that sidestep any routine post-colonial interpretation...This is beautiful work, unlike anything out there, wonderfully alive and so deserving of wider attention.' - Conor O'Callaghan, Poetry, The Reading List

Amali Gunasekera reads from The Golden Thread at the Bloodaxe online launch

Amali Gunasekera read poems from The Golden Thread at this Bloodaxe online launch event shared with Moniza Alvi and Jessica Traynor whose three collections were all published in March 2022. At the end of the readings Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley hosted a fascinating discussion between the three poets about their new books.


Amali Gunasekera reads from The Golden Thread at Masala Festival 2022

Amali Gunasekera reads and introduces two poems from The Golden Thread: ‘The Great Pause’ and ‘Beloved’. Filmed by Peter Hebden. Special thanks to Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts and GemArts.

 

Amali Gunasekera reads from Lotus Gatherers

Amali Gunasekera reads and introduces a selection of poems from her first Bloodaxe collection, Lotus Gatherers (published under her former name of Amali Rodrigo): 'Lotus Gatherers', ‘Durian’, excerpts from 'Aftersongs', 'Ikebana' and 'Horology'. Filmed by Neil Astley, this video shows part of her performance (with Moniza Alvi and Arundhathi Subramaniam) at GemArts Masala Festival in Newcastle on 14 July 2016.

 

Ireland & EU: Click here to order from Books Upstairs in Dublin

USA: Click here to order from Indiebound or Bookshop.org

  

BOOKS BY Amali Gunasekera

Lotus Gatherers

Amali Gunasekera

Lotus Gatherers

Publication Date : 26 May 2016

Read More   amazon.co.uk

Related News & Publicity

Poetry Events


Amali Gunasekera readings

Amali Gunasekera readings

Amali will be reading at The Hastings Bookshop on 13 April 2024 (with Abigail Parry & Matthew Caley). Her joint online launch event from March 2022 is on YouTube.

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News & Publicity


Amali Gunasekera's The Golden Thread reviewed in The Guardian

Amali Gunasekera's The Golden Thread reviewed in The Guardian

Amali Gunasekera's second collection The Golden Thread reviewed in The Guardian and in the Washington Independent Review of Books.

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Poetry Events


Launch reading by Moniza Alvi, Amali Gunasekera and Jessica Traynor

Launch reading by Moniza Alvi, Amali Gunasekera and Jessica Traynor

This launch reading by Moniza Alvi, Amali Gunasekera and Jessica Traynor is now available on YouTube.

Read More  |  View All

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