28 days there are in the month of February, a cold month in our part of the world, a month in which the summer seems an endless dream one had once, long ago. We should not be tricked by the frost, for it was during the dreaming month of February that Amal El-Mohtar composed The Honey Month, a book that tastes and smells of sun. Each day she uncapped a vial of honey, letting the brew inspire the words that became this book. Amal offers us much more than poetry and prose, however. Her words wrap around us like spiderwebs, gently pulling us into the web she weaves, where honey girls tempt and tease us, where things lost return and sorrow paints the leaves. This is a colourful book, but it is by no means a frivolous one. Remember, not all honey is sweet.
Mike Allen, editor of Mythic Delirium, has this to say about The Honey Month:
Amal El-Mohtar’s fascinating experiment in literary synesthesia takes the scents, tastes and textures from a gift of assorted honeys and transmutes them through artistic inspiration into a wordsmith’s cycle of fey mischief. These bewitching poems and stories, always sensuous, sometimes sad, unwind a fevered world of magic and longing and young women who chance the uncanny and gain wisdom beyond their years.
The Honey Month is lavishly illustrated by Oliver Hunter, who provided not only the cover art but six full-colour illustrations for the inside. His is the artwork that deliciously garnishes Goblin Fruit, a much beloved poetry zine co-edited by Amal.
This book is dedicated to Danielle Sucher, for it was she who provided the honey in which Amal indulged. I would also like to dedicate the process of making this book to those fine creatures who gave it to us: the bees. There is a limited edition of 30 copies (28 for sale) of this book in the works—each copy will come with a vial of Danielle’s honey so you can taste the dream for yourself.
Amal El-Mohtar is a first-generation Lebanese-Canadian, currently pursuing a PhD in English literature at the Cornwall campus of the University of Exeter. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in a range of publications both online and in print, including Strange Horizons, Shimmer, Cabinet des Fées, Sybil’s Garage, Mythic Delirium, and Ideomancer; her short fiction has also been broadcast on Podcastle. She won the 2009 Rhysling Award with her poem “Song for an Ancient City,” and co-edits Goblin Fruit, an online quarterly dedicated to fantastical poetry, with Jessica P. Wick.