Sheniz Janmohamed is a firm believer in fostering community through collaboration and creativity. An author, artist educator, spoken word artist and land artist, Sheniz is a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph. Throughout her career, Sheniz has had the good fortune to mentored by authors Dionne Brand, Kuldip Gill and Janice Kulyk Keefer.
Sheniz has performed nationally and internationally for over 10 years, including features at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Aga Khan Museum, and Vancouver Writers Fest to name a few. Her writing has been published in various journals and anthologies including Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant, CV2 and Quill & Quire.
Her ephemeral land art has been exhibited at the Aga Khan Park, The Aga Khan Museum, Confluence Concerts and the Indian Summer Festival. In 2019, she facilitated 13 ephemeral art workshops for the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s border crossings project. She also created a natural mandala installation, which was exhibited as part of the project. In March 2020, Sheniz began making, documenting and destroying daily sand art. By December 31st, 2020, she had created a total of 212 original works of sand art.
Sheniz’s first book, Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010), is a collection of English ghazals that explores a woman’s journey through night. Throughout her journey, she is caught between West and East, religion and heresy, love and anti-love, darkness and the knowledge of light. Sheniz’s second collection of poetry, Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014) traces the inception and annihilation of sacred fire and explores the meaning of truth and the self, finding them both in form and emptiness. Her third collection of poetry will be published later this year.
Sheniz offers spoken word, creative writing, professional development and land art workshops for children, youth and adults. A recipient of the Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Creative Teaching Scholarship, Sheniz holds an Artist Educator Mentor certificate from the Royal Conservatory (Toronto). She has visited dozens of cities and schools to teach and perform.
Sheniz is the founder of Questions for Ancestors, a blog that encourages BIPOC writers and artists across Turtle Island to ask questions of their ancestors and provide advice for their descendants. She is also the founder of the Sufi Poets Series, a performance series that seeks to revive the words and legacy of Sufi poets throughout history. In February 2020, Sufi Poets Series collaborated with Small World Music to raise funds for the families of the Flight 752 victims.