After reading the last line of this luscious and emotive collection, I didn't want the world to touch me. I can't think of anything better than to be held close by such an artful use of language, transported and beguiled. Leila's verse is a visit to a place both intimately familiar, and deliciously new. I can't wait to see what comes next.
Vivienne Austen, author of ‘Keaton’
“The wound is where light enters you” (Rumi) becomes in Leila Lois’s flesh into blossom “The wound is where you enter me”—more personal, embodied, and intimate. These are sensual, reaching poems, pulling Kurdish, Welsh, and English languages together in homage to a life lived ardently, in honor of the deep complexity of heritage as it enters a woman through both blood and art. Attentive to color, texture, and fragrance, this book offers, by way of example, instruction in how to be openly and unabashedly in love with the world.
Gabrielle Bates, published in The New Yorker, co-host of The Poet Salon
“She who wants pearls, has to dive into the sea.” Drawing on art, flora and both Kurdish and Celtic lore, flesh into blossom is an elegant, sensuous delight. Leila Lois’ poems washed over me, shimmering with light and lush depth.’
Shu-Ling Chua, author of ‘Echoes’
Flesh into Blossom is a beautiful exploration of self-identity, heritage and nature. Leila Lois’ intimate collection of poetry linguistically submerges the Kurdish and Celtic languages together in a personal, hybrid space that sumptuously leaves us all longing at heart to further explore and connect with the tales and lore of our ancestors through a diasporic lens. ~ Raz Xaidan/ The Darling Beast
Leila Lois is a woman of Kurdish and Celtic heritage who has lived most of her life in Aotearoa. In her poems, Leila explores a personal sense of origin that, like the ocean, binds several landscapes and times, coming back to the idea that a timeless, boundless love pervades. Her publishing history includes Southerly Journal, Djed Press, Right Now, Lite Lit One, Delving Into Dance and Salient.
Artist photograph by David H. Slattery, Melbourne, 2021