A Poet's Inspiration
My debut book, Braided Skin, Mother Tongue Publishing, March 2015
Braided Skin is the vibrant and edgy telling of experiences of mixed ethnicity, urban childhood, poverty and youthful dreams through various voices. In her debut book Knight writes a confident rhythm of poetry, prose and erasure by using the recurring trope and image of braiding--a different metaphor than "mixing," the word we default to when speaking the language of race. In the title poem Braided Skin, the use of this terminology shifts, to entwining and crossing, holding together in a way that always displays the promise or threat of unravelling. This is just as all tellings of family, history and relationships must be -- "Skin that carries stories of missing middles.” When speaking to the issue of Racial identity Knight raises the question, then drops it, and the image becomes other objects, then abstraction, and memory -- then it finally becomes something "she breathes in" actively.
Literary Magazine Publications
Dear Current Occupant (forthcoming with BookThug in 2018)
Dear Current Occupant is the loosely autobiographical story told in the voice of twenty-five year-old, Cora-Lynn. Written through letters, prose, sonnets and poems, Cora-Lynn reflects back to her childhood and writes letters to all the “current occupants” of the 20 East Side Vancouver houses she’s moved in and out of with her mother and brother in the 1980s-1990s. Bouncing in and out of the present moment to distant past, Cora-Lynn shouts and whispers her stories from roof tops. From blurry non-chronological memories of trying to fit in with her own family as the only mixed East Indian/Black child, to crystal-clear recollections of parental drug use, Cora-Lynn paints a picture of wishing fora “place” and “home” from tales of horrific scenes, small triumphs and glimmers of hope, to powerful realizations of her own strength. Knight takes you through a whirling typhoon of unique imagery. Cora-Lynn speaks in an unexpected simplicity, like how the “painted clouds hid the sounds of the breaking,” to describe what her young five senses endured. Using the recurring images of doors, windows, paint and walls, Knight slowly deconstructs — then rebuilds a real place from the rubble — and then delivers on a promise to herself, and “brings her back home”
Thanks to funding from the BC Council for the Arts
"I had no one to help me, but then T.S. Eliot helped me. So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn't be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language—and that is what poetry is, That is what literature offers—a language powerful enough to say how it is. It isn't a hiding place. It is a finding place."
—Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?