"In the candy pink hush
of this room—we gather around
a table scattered with teacups,
scruffy magazines and an
unfinished jigsaw puzzle …"
Anita Patel’s collection of poetry, A Common Garment (Recent Work Press), was published in 2019. She has had work published in TheCanberra Times, in Conversations (Pandanus Press, ANU), in Block 9, Burley Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Demos Journal, Mascara Literary Review, Not Very Quiet Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Backstory Journal, Other Terrain Journal, Pink Cover Zine, FemAsia Magazine, Plumwood Mountain Journal, Eucalypt: a tanka journal, The Blue Nib Literary Magazine(Print Issue 42), in Australian Poetry Anthology Vol. 8 and in the anthology, What We Carry, (Recent Work Press).
Her poem “Women’s Talk” won the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Prize in 2004 and her poetry was selected for and published in Australian Book Review’s States of Poetry ACT, 2018.
She has performed her work at the Canberra Multicultural Festival, Poetry on the Move Festival, Noted Festival, Floriade Fringe Festival, In Other Words Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, at Smith’s Alternative and at Word in Hand, Glebe.
Her reviews, “Found in Translation”on the performances of four Japanese women poets and their translators and “No More Silent Waiting” on the anthology Autonomy edited by Kathy D’Arcy (2018) have been published by Not Very Quiet Journal. She was the guest editor for Issue 2 of Not Very Quiet Journal.
Anita Patel’s second collection of poetry takes us on a voyage into history, heritage, mythology and family. These poems scatter and drift through layers of time, across cultures and continents. They offer glimpses into past worlds and present realities. They pay tribute to the yearning of a migrant heart, the search for home and the tensile strength of women. This is poetry that peers through the cloudy lens of memory to examine the tattered web of relationships, language, landscapes and stories which make up a self.
In A Common Garment, Anita Patel reminds us that nothing is ordinary. These intensely sensuous poems are rich in flavour, scent, colour, and the sound and feel of languages that inhabit the body and shape our unique selves.