In earth-circuit, iyra e m maharaj transports us to a dreamscape where surreal imagination creates its own force field, giving rise to an abundant range of ideas, experiences and images that prompt a new view on familiar and naturalised norms. References to art and culturally varied forms of religion make for a rich textual universe, constantly in the process of creation and deformation. Harnessing a dervish-type figure in the background, the poet shapes, crafts and pushes the boundaries of expectation beyond received ideas of God and gender. These strangely vital encounters of dream life and reconsidered waking come to life, creating a powerful mythology of woman as energy in an embrace of an elemental witchy power.
“The landscapes of this poet’s vision welcome the mystery that resides in ancient places, and equally, in those where we have not yet lived. Hers are surprising, concrete, carved words – stately sounds, emotion bushing behind elegance; all serve as reminders of what you never knew you knew.”
– Phillippa Yaa de Villiers
iyra e m maharaj holds a doctorate in paleobiology from the University of Cape Town. She was born and raised in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and studied biological sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal before moving to Cape Town for postgraduate research. As a matriculant, she was the recipient of the Francis & Jessica Brett-Young Memorial Prize in 2012. She currently teaches Biology at a high school in Cape Town. Alongside her teaching commitments, she is also a writer at KREST Publishers, working on a collaborative fiction novel. earth-circuit is her debut poetry collection.