EMC Question Words with... Anthony Salandy, author of "Half-Bred"
'Half-Bred' is a collection of poetry that illustrates the changing nature of Arabia through the lens of a mixed-race writer who reflects on the mores and folkways present, past and future that have come to complexify one's perception of the Middle-East. This chapbook considers the ornate cultural influences that have been eroded by western influence and financial opulence that has often done more bad than good. Through a consideration of ideologies, religion, nationality and tribal influences 'Half-Bred' seeks to take the reader on a journey of exploration beyond surface level depictions and arbitrary assumptions.
WHO is Anthony Salandy?
Anthony is a Black Mixed-race poet & writer who has spent most of his life in Kuwait jostling between the UK & America. Anthony's work has been published 215 times internationally. Anthony has 2 published chapbooks titled 'The Great Northern Journey' 2020 (Lazy Adventurer Publishing) & 'Vultures' 2021 (Roaring Junior Press) as well as a novel 'The Sands of Changed' 2021 (Alien Buddha Press). Anthony's Chapbook 'Half Bred' is the Winner of the 2021 'The Poetry Question' Chapbook contest. Anthony is the Co-EIC of Fahmidan Journal/Publishing & Co and Poetry Editor at Chestnut Review. You can connect with him on Twitter and Instagram as @arsalandy, or on his website.
WHAT do you write? Poetry makes up the bulk of my publications and writing in general. However, a novel 'The Sands of Change' I wrote when I was 18 and have edited massively since, was published in October 2021 with Alien Buddha Press. I tend to shy away from prose, although I enjoy writing it, as I appreciate the ability of poetry to be slinky, formless and formed. Poetry has a certain level of complexity that engages me directly to the core. Although, I admire prose writers immensely as the time and level of craft involved is something I am yet to master fully. My third chapbook 'Half-Bred' was written during a dreary week in Summer 2020 and reflects on sexism, inequality and the experiences of a tri-racial person, just trying to navigate a complex world. 'Half-Bred' reflects on my Arab and Black background to a larger extent and builds on themes of sexuality, nationality and lacking rights.
WHY did you write Half-Bred? I wrote 'Half-Bred' as an homage to my personal growth and the shared experiences of numerous mixed-race people that span the globe, and more directly, the Middle-East. I wanted to challenge the stereotypes and norms propagated by both the east and the west in terms of Arabia whilst reflecting more intimately on the experiences of subjugation, oppression and ostracisation that I, personally, have experienced. As a man, one may question how I have experienced sexism, however, being the child of an Arab woman married to a foreigner means essentially surrendering yourself to the mercy of men whose sole goal is to make that woman and her children feel as inferior and unwelcome as possible. This is something that extends far beyond culture to the very bedrock of bureaucratic institutions and wider society within Arabia. We must not forget that many nations in that area did not even enfranchise women with the vote until this century. Something that haunts my existence and understanding of a part of my identity immensely.
HOW did the idea for Half-Bred come about? Well, being considered a 'Half-Breed' despite the complexity of my background really led directly to this title. I thought it was apt, frank and simple. Three words I'd like to think describe me in some capacity just as much as the title of this chapbook 'Half Bred'.
WHEN do you usually write? I typically write at random. I am not one to sit and have a routine for writing as my poetry tends to just come at random. I don't set myself targets or goals, and I most certainly do not allow my words to be controlled by time constraints. I generally tend to write my collections rather quickly. My first Chapbook I wrote in 46 hours in Tromso, Norway. Whilst 'Half-Bred' took roughly a week. I tend to just go with the flow with writing as it is something I enjoy, rather than something I have had to push towards. In this sense, I never envisaged becoming a writer, it was just something that happened, fortunately. WHERE can readers find your book? Here.
Disclaimer: Every EMC interview series seeks to promote the artist and their featured writing and is in no way an endorsement of any of said artist's services, opinions or other work outside of this feature.