Profile: Ameerah Arjanee

‘When you grew old
A bean-shaped baby
Soaking in yesterday’s rain,
You kept asking me
How many doors are there
In all the rays of the sun,
How many arms are there in
All the leaves of any tree?

I drew nothing on
Your crinkling skin
And listened to the sound
Of the rain deciding to fall’

An old poet’s soul resonates in the verse of Ameerah Arjanee. Yet, like many, I was amazed to find that the Mauritian poet is only eighteen years old, and is currently studying English at Athabasca University.

This talented young lady cites Haruki Murakami, Sylvia Plath, Anais Nin and Rumi among her greatest influences.

‘One of the things that I take from my influences is a strong interest in the metaphysical, and I try to infuse my work with big questions. Some of my best work has come from my interest in my own agnosticism’ says Ameerah.

Indeed, in the poem Seed (above) such a questioning nature is clear – ‘how many doors are there/in all the rays of the sun’. It’s a question that becomes more intriguing, less lucid, the more you read the poem through.

Such raw talent has meant that Ameerah hasn’t gone unnoticed. She won the Foyle Young Poets competition in 2010 and was commended in 2011, and her poetry has also been recognized by placings in the Elizabeth Bishop Prize 2010 (runner-up) and Inspired by Tagore 2011 (top 100 winners).

Her work has also been published in well-known poetry magazines Magma, The Cadaverine and Sparkbright, and in a small collection ‘To the Universe’ published by l’Atelier d’Ecriture in 2011.

After her undergraduate degree, Ameerah says she would like to do graduate work in comparative literature or/and creative writing, ‘But i’m cautious about planning too much – i really like to see where life takes me. It’s been a fascinating journey so far’.

With talent such as Ameerah’s, one can only imagine the journey will only become more fascinating.

Contact Ameerah through Tempest Press