Amina Alyal

Edit below by adding one or more images and text of your choosing. Yell if you need assistance!

Image: Lemon drizzle cake, www.WorthTheWhisk.com, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nothing interests me as much as the potential and variety of myth, fairy tale and folklore. I got caught up, along with many others, in the flourishing of poetry based on myths in the late twentieth century, key examples of which might be Tony Harrison’s play The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (1990), his poem/film Prometheus (1998), or Omeros by Derek Walcott (1990). Around this time my PhD was about much earlier adaptations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (c. 8 AD), focussing on the Renaissance. Ovid, it seemed, had fascinated writers, off and on, since Medieval times. So it was natural I carried on my explorations into contemporary times after the PhD – Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes (2000), Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife (2001), Margaret Atwood and others in Ovid Metamorphosed, edited by Philip Terry (2001). I remember particularly relishing After Ovid: New Metamorphoses (1994), edited by Michael Hofmann and James Lasdun – so I was delighted to be included in a similar anthology of poems based on the Metamorphoses to mark the anniversary of Ovid’s death in 2017, Metamorphic: 21st century poets respond to Ovid, edited by Paul Munden and Nessa O’Mahoney.

Ovid is certainly one of my passions, but when I published my own book of poems based on myth, Season of Myths (Indigo Dreams Press 2016), I broadened the scope from purely classical Graeco-Roman myth, to include global myth. This was my second complete collection, the first being The Ordinariness of Parrots (Stairwell Books 2015), which was a selection of poems written over decades, on different topics but possibly mostly about perspectives. I’ve published other poems in anthologies and journals, and academic articles, and I’ve edited a few books, both academic and creative.

Recent publications include The Still and Fleeting Fire, written jointly with Oz Hardwick (Hedgehog Press 2021), and I’m currently working on several projects, including writing ghost poems with Sarah Wragg. I find collaboration really productive and fulfilling. I’ve enormously enjoyed my co-editing and writing involvement with the Tea Set’s first anthology, Tasseomancy (2024), and look forward to lots more similar high jinks.

Scroll to Top