Midnight Picnics in Tehran by Leilah Jane King
Midnight Picnics in Tehran is Leilah Jane King’s debut collection. It is a tale of two countries, three cities and an innumerable amount of drinks being thrown in people’s faces. Leilah paints striking imagery of the bustling cities of Shiraz and Tehran, the former her mother’s birth place. She conveys a melancholic nostalgia and love for a culture still novel to her that is remembered warmly from childhood summers spent in Iran’s beautiful mountains and parks. Midnight Picnics does not only focus on Iran but talks about Leilah’s time living in Bristol and Brighton. She shares an open, honest and raw account inviting you to navigate your way through sexuality, androgyny and anger.
Leilah Jane King is a Bristol-based poet unearthing her Iranian heritage. She grapples with life’s turmoil making light of family, love, and sexuality. Her poetry is comedic yet painfully reflective sharing her experiences of prejudice, conflict and mental health. She has performed at nights across the South, including Bristol Harbourside, She Grrrowls and Milk Poetry.
‘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. 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.’
‘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.'
‘Leilah King is an unselfconscious original. She is always herself. On stage she is 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.’
‘Leilah King is a unique presence on stage, connecting with audiences instantly with touching, human and hilarious pieces. A poet’s poet.’