Umbilical Cord

By Hasan Namir

Umbilical Cord
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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 ... Read more


Overview

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.

 

Hasan Namir

Hasan Namir was born in Iraq in 1987 and came to Canada at a young age. He graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BA in English. His debut novel God in Pink won the Lambda Literary Award for gay fiction in 2016. His other titles are the poetry book War/Torn and the children's picture book The Name I Call Myself. He lives in Surrey, BC.

Awards

  • Lamdba Literary Award for Gay Fiction 2016, Winner
  • Stonewall Book Award – Barbara Gittings Literature Award Honor Book 2020, Runner-up

Reviews

"This collection is a heartfelt 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. " —Vancouver Sun

"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

"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

"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

 

"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

"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'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

"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)

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