Rasiqra Revulva is a queer femme writer, multimedia artist, editor, musician, performer and SciComm advocate. She is an editor of the climate crisis anthology Watch Your Head: A Call to Action, and one half of the experimental electronic duo The Databats (Slice Records, Melbourne; Toronto). She has published two chapbooks of glitch-illustrated poetry: Cephalopography (words(on)pages press, 2016) and If You Forget the Whipped Cream, You’re No Good As A Woman (Gap Riot Press, 2018). Cephalopography 2.0 is her debut collection. Learn more at @rasiqra_revulva, @thedatabats and www.rasiqrarevulva.com.
For the return to the Small Machine Talks after a 4-month hiatus, I had the pleasure of speaking to Rasiqra about her book, Cephalopography 2.0 published by Wolsak and Wynn in 2020.
I asked Rasiqra to tell listeners about herself and about the book. The cover was designed by Kilby Smith-McGregor with art by Rasiqra.
List of links to what we talk about in the episode:
Alia Synesthesia – Toronto-based operatic singer, cellist, drummer, performer and film and video game score composer.
We talk about methods of glitching art, the role of sound and rhythm in Rasiqra’s poetry. We discuss working with the literature of the white male canon in the book.
Rasiqra talks about the wonder of cephalopods, such as the Spirula – ram’s horn – Spirula. We discuss the relationship between science, math and poetry. I ask Rasiqra about her relationship with games and puzzles since there are several in the book. I mention the opportunity to remix some of the words in the back of the book under the hashtag #RasiqraRemixed.
Rasiqra read three poems from the book: The Octopus Complex p.52; “Free the Niqabi” p. 50; Believe It Or Not! p. 66.
CEPHALOPOGRAPHY 2.0 is a thoughtful and playful collection of poems that manage to be both personal and whimsical, imaginative, and built on the realities of heritage and family, and not fitting in, with vivid and sensual imagery. The work is a radically queer dismantling of the white male literary canon and an homage to the beautiful and underappreciated creatures that dwell in the fathoms of the sea. It is an all singing, all dancing, all listening, art-soaked delight of rich hues and rhythms.
After the recording, Rasiqra and I had a lovely discussion on our favourite tea, lapsang souchong. I highly recommend World of Tea for all your loose leaf tea needs.
Stay tuned for forthcoming episodes with Dominik Parisien, Lisa Richter, Jennifer Mulligan, Kristine Snodgrass and Concetta Principe.
Thanks to Rasiqra Revulva for being on the show, to Wolsak and Wynn for the book, and thanks to all who listen and share the episodes with friends!