"Look, listen, taste, love. And share it all."

Written by Ellora Sutton for Mslexia, Dec/Jan/Feb 2023/24 on Sunday, December 31st, 2023
Seneviratne’s speakers are always travelling towards something, and this requires nourishment, as well as hope. And there is so much hope not only in individual poems, but in the way they pull together over the arc of the collection. [...] Seneviratne moves deftly between the personal, the mythic and the historical. In the tradition of Anne Carson and Carol Ann Duffy, ‘Philomela reimagined’ grants Philomela a fresh, full voice for the post-#MeToo world: ‘the only weaving is my story with others’. Philomela’s arc (displacement, rape, silencing, transformation) is echoed throughout the collection, especially in poems based in historical fact, such as ‘At the slave lodge’, where an enslaved woman ‘reweaves the fabric of her flesh’. [...] These are images as explanation, as embodiment, as soul. [...] The message of Seni Seneviratne’s vast fourth collection, spanning continents and centuries: take notice. Notice the people around you and what they’re saying, notice the histories (silent and silenced) that cover the walls of the rooms you walk through. Look, listen, taste, love. And share it all.