Anis Mogjani is a contagious poet. His poems make you want to fall in love with the world all over again. To look at the world with fresh eyes, to wonder and to marvel. His combination of optimism and surrealism create little electric jolts that jostle us out of the logical sense-making mind. Rich imagery, open-heartedness and a complete lack of $1,000 words make it possible for the reader to immediately jump into the poems. And when he performs, Anis Mogjani’s warmth and affection welcomes the audience into the poems—you don’t feel you’re being performed “at” but rather you are invited into a friendship. As he is revealing something of himself in the poems, he asks you to look inside yourself to find what needs revealing, perhaps what’s been hidden for too long.
Take a few moments to watch him perform “Sock Hop”.
The word “joy” comes to mind as I read and watch Mogjani. The word “child-like” comes up in nearly every blurb or commentary about his work or readings. And it’s certainly true—his work is playful and sweet. Some poems deal with childhood narratives. And when his poems take a heavier tone—which they do–they are still grounded in beautiful and simple images. These potent and frequent images shock the mind for a moment and propel the poems through their emotional landscapes. We feel we are being carried through the poems, their vulnerability inspiring our own heart-opening.
from after the birds
the sun is mine
it is an orange
I grew it
I grow it every morning
slice it into quarters
drink its blood
I fill up on it
I sit up late
surrounded by the song of toads
they make love in the pond
my house is wood
I am always working on it
hammering a windowsill
placing a ladder against it
I am surrounded by paint buckets
my house was once painted white
but now it is a whale of a home
brown bones peeking through in the day light
and whispering in the wind of the night
To find more videos and links to Anis Mogjani’s work, see his website, where you can also find some of his drawings and artwork, which again display his delightful imaginative talent.
We encourage you to use the “Comments” box below to share other resources you may have found for this poet. In this way, we can build together a mini-wiki-encyclopedia on the 2014 Festival Poets.
For more information on the 2014 Dodge Poetry Festival and Program,
visit our website dodgepoetry.org