In one early poem in Sayeeda T. Ahmad’s Across Oceans, a child speaks her first words “poye geche” (it fell) as peas slip from her mouth onto a white tablecloth. Those first words are an introduction to a fallen world, where discrimination can be overt and violence can rend the fabric of a society. But those first words are also greeted with joy by the girl’s relatives, and the contrast of colors on the marred tablecloth also testifies to the aesthetic pleasures of the world around us. That incident serves to prepare readers for the collection of poetry that follows in which readers are taken from Bangladesh to Iraq to the U.S. and beyond. Each locale may exhibit the worst or the best of human actions, and the joys wrung from fraught circumstances are not taken for granted. Ahmad’s poems are wide ranging in their concerns and precise in their descriptions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sayeeda T Ahmad was born in Bangladesh, but grew up in the US, making pit stops in between. An ex-radio jockey, she was dubbed the Resident Poet at Jatra Biroti in Dhaka. She won the Selina Terry Poetry Award (2005) and Muse Masters Season 2 Performance Poetry Award (2015), and received honorable mentions for the New Millennium Writings Award (2005) and Atlanta Review Poetry Award (2005). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in ditch, Stone’s Throw, Six Season's Review, Wasafiri, Safina Radio Project, Allegro, Plum Tree Tavern, and Anomaly.