In Public/In Private by Leyla Josephine
‘There is not a poet alive today who writes about the inner lives of women as well as Leyla Josephine. This breathtaking collection teases apart the difference between what is private and what is secret; what we exhibit of love, and what we keep to ourselves and our dreams.’ Jodi Picoult
Leyla Josephine dances between her private and public lives, her inner thoughts and outer performance, dipping into each side of herself with humour and reverence. In Public/In Private ends up in a stranger’s flat on a one night stand, an awkward lunch with a politician, raves in dark sweaty clubs and midnight mass in Ireland. Some poems read like public proclamations but in others we are invited to listen through the crack of a bedroom door. There is a sense that everything firmly belongs here, the opposing sides of herself do not discount each other.
Leyla's stunning first collection of poetry unmasks secrets, faith, shame, lust,and death unapologetically. She fearlessly reaches through every page and asks ‘Have you felt this too?’.
‘In Public / In Private combines two of my favourite elements of poetry: formal play and emotional velocity. What a beautifully restless collection of psychological candor as well as of sensory and sensual vulnerability. In these pages you will encounter both wildly textured images (“It’s like an advert for toothpaste but the model’s got no teeth”) and piercing insights into personhood (“a poem is essentially / a classy version of social media post, right?”). How startling, these poems; how uncompromisingly engaging, this poet.’ Chen Chen