We’re often told that we are given only what we can bear. For some of us our first lessons are in how much pain we’re made to think we deserve — and the resulting scars are always meant to be kept secret. Assiyah Jamilla Touré’s debut collection is a record of those scars—not those inflicted on us by the thousands of little wars we live in everyday, but those that come afterwards, those we inflict upon ourselves to mark the path.
Each and every poem in Autowar was written on a cell phone, transcribing an urgent revisiting of old sites of pain, and also a revisiting of one young person’s power and ability—to hurt themself, or others. These poems are powerful evocations of how even our scars have worlds and lives.
Praise for Autowar:
“Assiyah Jamilla writes with a unique genius that only belongs to those spirits of epochal change. Poems that are all at once a physicist’s altar, a musician’s trance, a reporter’s gun. Our current definitions of the most sacred facets of the human journey cannot keep up with the phenomenal-architectural demands of this work. Read these poems to witness an enlightenment begin again.” — Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of Heaven Is All Goodbyes
Cover image by Ayo Tsalithaba.
22 debut Canadian poetry collections to read for National Poetry Month — CBC