Miriam Calleja is a bilingual poet and Maltese wordsmith. Her poetry collections, Pomegranate Heart (EDE Books, 2015) and Inside Skin (EDE Books, 2016), have been described as ‘fresh’, ‘intimate’, and ‘sensual’. She has been published in a number of journals and poetry anthologies worldwide, and her work has been translated into Slovene, Greek, Romanian, French, Norwegian, German and Frisian.
Her most recent publications are the long poem Remember, written during the pandemic, and the chapbook Stranger Intimacy, both published by Stamparija Reljic in 2020.
In 2020 she was a guest author at the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival. Following that, she attended a 2-month artist residency in Feldafing, limits of Munich, which was awarded by Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta and the Municipality of Munich. She presented her work at the Schamrock Festival for women poets in collaboration with German poet Karin Fellner.
She is the Stanza representative for Malta through The Poetry Society (UK) and runs a monthly meeting for anyone interested in reading/writing poetry.
Miriam is also a pharmacist and works in the field of medical writing. In 2020 she wrote the book COVID19 and the Virus that Shook the World (Oppian Press) which was translated into several languages. She dedicates her time to facilitating creative writing and poetry workshops, mentoring, performing or writing for performances and publications, and devouring books.
Read more on miriamcalleja.com.
With each conversation I forget
the size of the island.
I resist the search for facts;
thinking that once presented they will ask for more:
metric measurements, the inches of understanding
the hours of walking at different times.
I resist the comparisons,
my language exotic in a metropolitan air,
my skin an olive with a blanched almond,
open like the freckles on your shoulder,
and the meaning close.
I resist to understand
the differences, so that your hand
in this picture is my hand.
You smell like a memory of the sea
I remember which day
you swept me off my feet, but gently
a toe still drawing
lines in the sand.
First published in Pomegranate Heart (EDE Books, 2015)
Everybody’s talking about blue
Everybody’s talking about blue,
blue that envelops and drowns,
blue that seeks a sign in the sky for safety,
blue that’s embedded in your eyes,
like the jewel I found in an oyster shell,
surrounded by a sea that is blue,
and filled with tears.
First published in Inside Skin (EDE Books, 2016)
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Poetry in this post: © Miriam Calleja
Published with the permission of Miriam Calleja