Ahead of the release of Hafsah Aneela Bashir’s debut collection of poems The Celox and the Clot, here is a heads up on the launch at Manchester Literature Festival, as part of Black History Month on Sunday 7th October.

Hafsah will be joined by Sufi musician Sarah Yaseen at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. The launch will be a special theatrical performance of the poems from the book, directed by Nikki Mailer. We strongly urge you to get tickets in advance, and to take some cash with you so that you can pick up a copy of The Celox and the Clot straight from the author.

from Songs of Protest

The first form of protest I ever saw
was in a gathering of women,
conservative, strict, steadfast,
all leaving the layers accumulated over time at the door.
Slow careful unravelling of headscarves
unveiling shy glints of tinder beneath black robes.

In the centre of the room
a hollowed drum, leathered skin tight on either end,
a silver baton-like spoon tapping surely against it,
bangled hands clapping, no placard in sight,
only the familiar glint of fire in the eyes,
the tell-tale sign when women have had enough.
The strictest of them dipped the shoulder to give permission,
and women morphed to megaphones.

Sueh ve cheeray valia meh kendiyah
Kar chatree di chaawm cha meh bendiyah



T: @hafsah_a_bashir