Umbilical Cord by Hasan Namir

Umbilical Cord by Hasan Namir

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Poetry / LGBTQ+
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
148 pages
7.75 × 5.25 inches
ISBN 9781771667180

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Audiobook Sample:

Dear Child
Once upon a time
Your baba fell in love with your dad
We got married and dreamt of having a baby
A roller coaster of emotions and feelings
We were always hopeful

Lambda Literary and Stonewall Book Award-winner Hasan Namir shares a joyful collection about parenting, fatherhood, and hope. These warm, free-verse poems document the journey that he and his husband took to have a child. Between love letters to their young son, Namir shares insight into his love story with his husband, the complexities of the IVF surrogacy process, and the first year as a family of three. Umbilical Cord is a heartfelt book for parents or would-be parents, with a universal message of hope.

Advance Praise for Umbilical Cord:

“Tender. Touching, this book-length poetic narrative reminds me of Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems: “Every day you play with the light of the universe.” Namir’s love poems to his infant son and partner (interspersed with photos), remind me of Neruda’s poems interspersed with Picasso’s drawings. Umbilical Cord: two art forms; two fathers—the narrative of family made anew.” Betsy Warland, author of Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss (2nd Edition, 2021)

“Hasan Namir’s new collection expands on his poetic oeuvre, this time turning his lens to his own growing family. This book brings to light the connections that bind us, and the complex ways traditions of domesticity impact how we view our own families, and others. In Umbilical Cord poems are about the complicated, intimate and expansive ways of growing a family, and the cords necessary, to connect and to cut, that build a life.” Dina Del Bucchia, author of Don’t Tell Me What to Do

“In Hasan Namir’s Umbilical Cord we see a queer revisionism of family that shows how love can link us together like a cord, pushing against the heterocentrism of childrearing. It’s poetry that takes a deep dive into all of the fears and anxieties of parenting as queer, but above all else, this book, at its core, is a love poem.” —Daniel Zomparelli, author of Everything Is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person

“The poems in Umbilical Cord are a deeply personal, and often heartbreaking, account of two men in love who find a way to have the child they so badly wanted. This book brings to light the transformative experience of creating a family despite bigotry and adversity and the promises of unconditional love every parent makes. When Hasan Namir tells his son, “I could scream and let the whole world know/You are our euphoria,” we swallow these words as witnesses.” —Adrienne Gruber, author of Q&A

Hasan Namir returns to poetry with Umbilical Cord—a collection at once an expansion of Namir’s interest in experimental and confessional forms but also a diary and a baby book. Namir uses exciting poetic forms and his intimate, dynamic voice to expand our ideas of love, intimacy, and what a dream can look like in real life.” —Matthew Walsh, author of These are not the potatoes of my youth

“What does it mean to be a good father and a good son? Hasan Namir’s Umbilical Cord is an intimate exploration of a new family forming and transforming in and against the tug and pull of generational, cultural and societal expectations.  Loss and acceptance coexist on every page, the urgency in the text often held in the quiet of the white space. Part memoir, part love letter, Umbilical Cord threads together an imperfect life with a forgiving stitch—each poem with an I on joy.” —Chantal Gibson, author of How She Read and with/holding

“Hasan Namir’s Umbilical Cord is an exceptionally beautiful love poem that lays bare the joy and complexity of family life. In this collection, Hasan continues to be a genius of confessional forms that breathe, sing, and cry.” —Jordan Scott, author of Night & Ox

Umbilical Cord’s poems have a lucent quality and a supple rhythm that carries their tenderness to a reader. In an instant, the poems can become as raw, as immediate as touch. This work begins in heat and heartbeat, as a relationship and a family come into being, and it reflects the intimacies, anxieties, and devotions of love.  At once personally revealing and focused outward on the challenges that queer families face, in Umbilical Cord love triumphs over intolerance, and the future, named “Malek,” is nurtured by two devoted fathers.”  —Kaie Kellough, author of Dominoes at the Crossroads and Magnetic Equator

Press Coverage:

Fall 2021 Announcements: Poetry —Publishers Weekly

Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2021 Poetry Preview —49th Shelf

Fatherhood Joy —BC Booklook

45 Canadian Poetry Collections to Watch for in Fall 2021 —CBC Books

Book Releases: September 2021 —Reads Rainbow

September’s Most Anticipated LGBTQIA+ Literature —Lambda Literary

33 Canadian books coming out in September we can’t wait to read —CBC Books

Q&A: Lambda award winner Hasan Namir’s Umbilical Cord explores his journey to becoming a gay parent —The Georgia Straight

Umbilical Cord: An Interview with Hasan Namir —Plenitude Magazine

The Chat with Hasan Namir —Trevor Corkum, 49th Shelf

“Describing his journey as a gay man to parenthood via a surrogate who shares his spouse’s genetics, Namir is able to explode an annoying vestige of the illogic upon which the straight mainstream, with teary-eyed desperation, sometimes still tries to assert its exclusivity.” —John Barton, Gertrude

“This collection is a heart-felt tribute to love in its many forms. It reflects the author’s courage, even in the face of death threats and insults, in celebrating his loving, chosen family. And that courage must flourish in a world that is still far from accepting same-sex marriages like Hasan and Tarn’s.” —Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun

Five recent queer books that untangle what family means today —Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail

Editors’ Picks for February 2022 —Kiley Turner, 49th Shelf

“The poems are not ordered chronologically, nor are they grouped by format, theme, or emotion. Rather, Namir orders his poetry in the same way life hits him—erratically, with waves of varied emotion…Even though Umbilical Cord offers insight into a set of unique experiences, it is still exceptionally engaging and approachable.” —Carly Smith, Cloud Lake Literary

8 of the Best LGBTQ-Inclusive Books About Parenting and Pregnancy —Book Riot

Hasan Namir is an Iraqi-Canadian author. He graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BA in English and received the Ying Chen Creative Writing Student Award. He is the author of God in Pink (2015), which won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Fiction and was chosen as one of the Top 100 Books of 2015 by The Globe and Mail. His work has also been in media across Canada. He is also the author of the poetry book War/Torn (2019, Book*hug Press), which received the 2020 Barbara Gittings Honor Book Award from the Stonewall Book Awards, and the children’s book The Name I Call Myself (2020). Hasan lives in Vancouver with his husband and child.