Bleeding Light

Bleeding Light is a collection of poems in ghazal form that traces the steps of a woman’s journey through night. She knows that in order to witness dawn, she has to travel through dusk first. Throughout her journey, she is caught between West and East, religion and heresy, love and anti-love, darkness and the knowledge of light. Each couplet is an independent thought and reflection, a pearl strung into a necklace. Bleeding Light is fraught with opposing, stark and often violent imagery heavily influenced by Sufi philosophy.

“Sheniz Janmohamed is one of a very few new poets who has mastered the form of the ghazal in a way that brings together the emotional aspects of the form and the expectations of the listeners who know the form and its cultural unity: mystic illumination, rhyme, refrains that exude passion, and couplets with wise insights. The couplets in her eloquent and appealing ghazals dazzle one with their precision, sudden turns and brilliant use of the cultural memory of language and imagery.”
–The late Dr. Kuldip Gill (Professor, Poet and Mentor)

“The contrasting imagery in Bleeding Light is vivid and powerful. Each word, line, couplet is clearly written with such precision and artistry, portraying dramatic visions of both the longing to be united as well as the pain of being separated from the Devine.”
Fusia Magazine

“Janmohamed’s ghazals seem to echo across both time and space”
Awaaz Magazine

“Seldom have I read poetry that makes me feel like I’m traveling across a spiritually charged landscape, where I don’t know whether my feet are touching water or land. Or is it both?”
–Fez Meghani, Producer, Musician and Devotional Singer (Dallas, Texas)

Bleeding Light is a beautiful compilation of contemporary Sufi poetry that combines creative imagination with artistic majesty. These ghazals of Sheniz Janmohamed bring to light an all too often forgotten classical poetic sensitivity of longing for the Divine and praising the arrival of the Beloved. It is my hope that these poems find wide readership for such beauty will enrich the lives of those who contemplate the visions within them.”
–Meena Sharify-Funk, author of Encountering the Transnational: Women, Islam and the Politics of Interpretation (as posted on


Publication Date: September 2010

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-894770-63-7
Page size: 5.75″ x 8.75″
64 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-927494-14-1

Photo of Sheniz Janmohamed

Sheniz Janmohamed (MFA) is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration, compassion and creativity. In her own practice, she strives to embody words through performance, land art and writing in the ghazal form. A poet, artist educator and land artist, Sheniz has performed her work in venues across the world, including the Jaipur Literature Festival, Alliance Française de Nairobi and the Aga Khan Museum.

Sheniz is also the author of three collections of poetry: Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010), Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014), and Reminders on the Path (Mawenzi House, 2021). Her writing has been published in a variety of publications, including Quill & Quire, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press, 2019).

Sheniz visits dozens of schools and organizations each year to teach, perform, and inspire creativity in her students. In 2015, she was awarded the Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Creative Teaching Scholarship, and holds an Artist Educator Mentor certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto).

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