‘Collective generosities’: Sara M Saleh in Conversation with Jazz Money

By and | 15 May 2023

SMS: I’m so glad you said that. You mentioned being in dialogue with infinite voices – and I note again in your collection the various shades of subjectivities that your poems embody – and so how do you decide who is speaking and with what intent?

JM: The poem comes first a lot of the time; it bubbles out.

SMS: The poem comes first, or is it that the poet really just needs to reveal themselves to the poem? In this process of excavating as they often – we artists say that that’s what poetry is, it’s this excavation where you’re uncovering your experiences and your thoughts to be able to dig out – to uncover what it is you want to say; gently or otherwise. And you do that with discipline and patience and creativity; that’s part of the practice. And sometimes it’s very messy, as we said, and it’s not linear. So, I do wonder whether the poem is there waiting for you and it’s just waiting for you to reveal yourself, or you’re revealing the poem?

JM: The poem becomes the way the world makes sense, and the sense reveals itself through the mystery of the poem. The origins and the destination are complex and twisting, but there you are, right in the middle of the world you’ve made with breath and word and story and the unknown, sharing that small world with infinite other worlds.

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