Artist, poet & filmmaker Amanda Holiday completed the Poetry MA at the University of East Anglia in 2019.
Her chapbook 'The Art Poems' was published April 2018 as part of New Generation African Poets (Tano) a chapbox series by Akashic books (US). Her text ‘A Posthumous Conversation about Black Art’ was published in the first edition of Critical Fish Journal.
Her poems have appeared or will appear in Prairie Schooner (US), South Bank Poetry Magazine, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Lolwe, Anomaly and she has written for Frieze. In 2020 she was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize and founded the UK’s first crowdfunded poetry press Black Sunflowers right here!
She is a currently Techne AHRC doctoral student in Poetry, Race and Art at the University of Brighton.
Geffen Bankir is a poet, musician, and artist who has studied music, law and poetry. She completed the MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of East Anglia as the recipient of the Bryan Heiser Memorial Bursary. She has given readings of her poetry at various venues and festivals in the UK.
A peer of Holiday's at UEA, Bankir became involved in early stage planning of Black Sunflowers Poetry Press and has taken on the role of Editorial Associate -- planning publishing strategy, drafting submission proposals and reading all the poetry chapbook and anthology submissions from authors from across the globe.
She stood at the window
You know what I want to see?
Black sunflowers – fields of them swaying
charcoal heads – say that to most people
they think it’s morbid but I’ve never
seen black like that, never seen black like that
and that’s where they go wrong for sure
White flowers got the strongest smells
valley lilies, snowdrops and wide-eyed orchid
oozing scent puree after dark aloneness
the urgent pungency of me me me
Black sunflowers you have to listen in
a whispering smell of soot ash
liquorice ladies nodding um and ahh
soul flower faces billet lips
smiling receipts and crowding
queues in uniforms bagfuls of black rice
petal-framed crochet bunch-necks
never smelt black like that never
smelled burnt umber soft for sure
© Amanda Holiday 2020
first published in South Bank Poetry Magazine Issue 32