The Celox and the Clot by Hafsah Aneela Bashir
Hafsah Aneela Bashir’s debut poetry collection is by turns tender, poignant and fierce. With searingly sharp detail, this is an exploration of the private and the public, teasing out the relationship between the two; compelling readers to stop and look again and again at what they had imagined was the familiar.
Between the uncertainty and doubt of relationships under strain, to the tragedy of war and its fundamental injustices, this is a collection that unapologetically examines the human condition and the conflicts that arise within us. What does it take to be who we are? What are we prepared to ignore or accept? Her work asks uncomfortable questions, searching after uncomfortable truths. Never complacent, always conscious of many journeys each of us must make, this is a collection that travels with us.
Hafsah Aneela Bashir is a writer and performance poet with an MA in Postcolonial Literary and Culture from the University of Leeds. Her work has been published in anthologies, When Saira Met Sarah, 80 Decibels above Sound, Elevator Fiction and Shots In The Dark by Crocus Books. Co-director of the arts collective, Outside The Frame Arts, she is passionate about platforming voices outside of mainstream arts. She works with marginalized and underrepresented communities delivering creative writing workshops centred around identity and empowerment.
Also a TOAST2016 poet and one of six recipients of Manchester International Festival’s Jerwood Fellowships 2017, she recently wrote and performed a monologue based on her grandmother’s experience of the India/Pakistan 1947 partition with The Royal Exchange Theatre. She is a Leader Of Tomorrow with the Artistic Directors Leadership Programme, has performed for numerous festivals, is creating theatre work of her own exploring womanhood and faith and is still a sane mother of five.
She blogs at http://hafsahaneelabashir.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @Hafsah_A_Bashir & @artsOTF.
‘There is a strength, humanity and vitality in her writing that I find glorious, hopeful and outstanding. A powerful debut collection, heartfelt and original, Hafsah has a voice that rips your heart out.’
‘This epic and moving collection from Hafsah Aneela Bashir arrives in UK literature when it is needed most - a humorous, heartbreaking and elegant examination of modern motherhood and modern warfare, politics and personal disappointments, familial negotiation and the cultural negation that post-colonialism still exerts in so many places. A beautiful book.’
‘This is a startling, bold debut from a voice that needs to be heard in contemporary poetry. Hafsah Aneela Bashir’s work simmers with questing, searching intelligence, brims with compassion, anger and love. These poems never settle for the ordinary, reaching for images that ruffle the surface of our everyday lives: the ‘serrated edge’ of a phone call, a house like a corpse, the ‘aubergine eye’ of a paint stain. Above all else, this is poetry which humanises its every subject - Bashir eloquently challenges complacency, calls-out hatred and fear, honours people by their names.’