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The January Children


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Kwame Dawes
asmarani makes prayer
Sudan Today. Nairobi: University of Africa, 1971. Print.
to make use of water
[did our mothers invent loneliness or . . . ]
while being escorted from the abdelhalim hafez concert
application for the position of abdelhalim hafez's girl
abdelhalim hafez asks for references
talking with an accent about home
origin stories
a brief history of silence
the last time marvin gaye was heard in the sudan
first interview for the position of abdelhalim hafez's girl
the lovers
talking with an accent about home
first adornment
callback interview for the position of abdelhalim hafez's girl
bride price
old wives' tales
date night with abdelhalim hafez
first quarantine with abdelhalim hafez
self-portrait with dirty hair
watching arab idol with abdelhalim hafez
self-portrait with the question of race
second date
abdelhalim hafez wants to see other people
red moon night
self-portrait with yellow dress
alternate ending
[& what is a country but the drawing . . . .]
late-night phone call with abdelhalim hafez
republic of the sudan / ministry of interior / passport & immigration general directorate / alien from sudanese origin passcard
talking with an accent about home
talking with an accent about home (second take)
second quarantine with abdelhalim hafez
portrait with asylum
talking to boys about abdelhalim hafez at parties
biopic containing lies about abdelhalim hafez
asmarani does psychogeography
why abdelhalim
self-portrait with lake nasser
abdelhalim hafez asks who the sudanese are
the part i keep forgetting
talking with an accent about home (reprise)
third quarantine with abdelhalim hafez
final interview for the position of abdelhalim hafez's girl
self-portrait as abdelhalim hafez's girl
portrait with abdelhalim hafez with the question of race
lovers' quarrel with abdelhalim hafez
portrait of abdelhalim hafez as orpheus
everything i know about abdelhalim hafez

About the Author

Safia Elhillo is a Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor at Kinfolks Quarterly. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. She is the author of The Life and Times of Susie Knuckles.


"A taut debut collection of heartfelt poems."-Publishers Weekly * Publishers Weekly *
"Safia Elhillo's triumph is not that she sings about novel love and heartbreak, but that she does so in an unforgettable voice."-Irene Mathieu, Muzzle -- Irene Mathieu * Muzzle *
"Safia Elhillo's The January Children offers the reader a galaxy of Sudanese voices engaging individual and collective memory in a manner that not only introduces readers to the nuances that animate that ancient land of layered diversity, which lends this collection a collage-like quality that is as sublime in its coherence as it is revelatory in its execution."-Post No Ills Magazine * Post No Ills Magazine *
"The first sound of what will be a remarkable noise in African poetry. Safia Elhillo has already laid out in this collection a complex foundation for a rich and complex body of work. What is unmistakable is her authority as a poet-she writes with great control and economy, but also with a vulnerability that is deeply engaging. Above all, her poems are filled with delight-a quality of humor that is never trite but always honest and insightful."-from the foreword by Kwame Dawes -- Kwame Dawes

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