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 whitespace. 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 How She Read
“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
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 poetry book War/Torn (2019, Book*hug Press) which received the 2020 Barbara Gittings Honor Book Award from the Stonewall Book Awards, and children’s book The Name I Call Myself (2020). Hasan lives in Vancouver with his husband and child.