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We Are Hungry For Androgyny by Leilah King

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WE ARE HUNGRY FOR ANDROGYNY is filled with wit, chaos, beauty and rage. In her second collection Leilah King shares her experiences navigating the world as a butch, half-Iranian gay woman. Her poems touch on her dual heritage and her experience of queerness. She explores how these identities intersect, balancing the expectations of her Persian heritage with her sexuality and gender nonconformity.

We Are Hungry for Androgyny retains Leilah’s brand of illustrative poems about Iran, capturing nostalgic imagery of her time there. She conjures scenes of the Caspian Sea, Tehran and Shiraz her mother’s home city. Her collection examines the current political and social landscape in the United Kingdom and explores how patriarchy and discrimination have affected her family and shaped her life today. As a performer, Leilah brings a playfulness to her storytelling, turning confronting experiences into comical songs.

Leilah’s poetry exists to inspire openness, demand solidarity and to celebrate marginalised groups.

Leilah is a half-Iranian queer footballer and coach, mental health advocate, and stand-up poet. Her debut poetry collection Midnight Picnics in Tehran was published by Burning Eye Books. She is the co-founder and host of an open mic night in Bristol called Time of the Month Open Mic, a performance space for female/trans/nonbinary/GNC performers. She works at Off the Record, a mental health charity for children and young people, as a fundraising manager, and lives in East Bristol with her partner Alina.

"An important addition to the queer canon, celebrating and detailing the wide cinema of us."
Joelle Taylor, poet and playwright

 

"Original, open-eyed and luminous, these poems are a testament to curiosity and learning. With sharp flashes of song and humour, We Are Hungry for Androgyny zigzags between the personal, the political and all the places they meet."
Sophia Blackwell, poet and author

 

"We Are Hungry For Androgyny oozes emotional gravity and humour. Like good football, Leilah’s poems swerve and ascend, only to land at exactly where they should. King possesses such command over her material, this collection is like a warm clever friend. One who surprises me with their intimate and intricately shaped stories."
Karen McLeod, writer and performer

 

"This collection is so full and whole. Leilah honours all of her identities in ways that most people only dream of. Her poetry is a roadmap for self-acceptance, true, brutal, yet, warm and comforting."
Muneera Pilgrim, poet, cultural producer, writer, broadcaster and speaker

 

"Politically in-your-face, but always authentic, always original, Leilah writes with intelligence, wit and nuance in precise and vivid language. She poses questions instead of giving simplistic answers in powerful poems of exquisite lyrical beauty."
Melanie Branton

 

"Leilah is a true original. Never the same poet twice, she forges together the gentle comedy of life, the solemnity of solitude and the everyday melodies of personal relationships into her poetry and prose. You never know what’s coming next, but you really, really want to take the leap and find out. A brilliant performer and sparky poet to fall in love with."
Malaika Kegode

 

"Funny, unpredictable, self-deprecating and sometimes confrontational. In print her poems reveal something else. They are reflective and full of original images. She describes familiar things in new ways and makes what is unfamiliar come to life."
Tom Sastry

 

"Leilah King is an absolute queen of spoken word. In both her writing and performance, no holds are barred … One minute, she’ll have you in the camel clutch of hilarity, ribs bursting from laughter as she belts out another raucous song, and in the next she’s got you in the gentlest of headlocks, holding you with a powerful simplicity and a beautiful, open honesty. With a unique brand of quick wit and barely controlled chaos, her performances are always joyous and almost otherworldly. Easily one of the most authentic and astonishing poets you’ll ever see."
Chris White

 

"Leilah weaves all those things that make life – love, beauty, rage resonances – into moving, deep and sometimes hilarious poetry that gives a voice to those that go unnoticed and unpraised. Her performances are warm and embracing. She’s a founder member and hero of the Bristol Butch Bar."
Rosie Poebright, co-founder of Bristol Butch Bar

 

"The most amazing stage presence and storytelling, slathered in gorgeous butchness. Leilah casually blends poetic snapshots of love and belonging, queer reflections and insurrections, and hilarious sarcasm, throws it all your way and waits for you to catch it. What a ride."
Alexa Ledecky, creator of Soft Butch Bristol

Polari Press

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