We Are Hungry for Androgyny

Leilah King


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Polari Press
25 September 2023
ISBN: 9781914237171
72 pages

From the publisher

WE ARE HUNGRY FOR ANDROGYNY is filled with wit, chaos, beauty and rage. In her second collection Leilah King shares her experiences navigating the world as a butch, half-Iranian gay woman. Her poems touch on her dual heritage and her experience of queerness. She explores how these identities intersect, balancing the expectations of her Persian heritage with her sexuality and gender nonconformity.

We Are Hungry for Androgyny retains Leilah’s brand of illustrative poems about Iran, capturing nostalgic imagery of her time there. She conjures scenes of the Caspian Sea, Tehran and Shiraz her mother’s home city. Her collection examines the current political and social landscape in the United Kingdom and explores how patriarchy and discrimination have affected her family and shaped her life today. As a performer, Leilah brings a playfulness to her storytelling, turning confronting experiences into comical songs.

Leilah’s poetry exists to inspire openness, demand solidarity and to celebrate marginalised groups.

Leilah is a half-Iranian queer footballer and coach, mental health advocate, and stand-up poet. Her debut poetry collection Midnight Picnics in Tehran was published by Burning Eye Books. She is the co-founder and host of an open mic night in Bristol called Time of the Month Open Mic, a performance space for female/trans/nonbinary/GNC performers. She works at Off the Record, a mental health charity for children and young people, as a fundraising manager, and lives in East Bristol with her partner Alina.

‘An important addition to the queer canon, celebrating and detailing the wide cinema of us’ Joelle Taylor, poet and playwright

‘Original, open-eyed and luminous, these poems are a testament to curiosity and learning. With sharp flashes of song and humour, We Are Hungry for Androgyny zigzags between the personal, the political and all the places they meet’ Sophia Blackwell, poet and author

‘We Are Hungry For Androgyny oozes emotional gravity and humour. Like good football, Leilah’s poems swerve and ascend, only to land at exactly where they should. King possesses such command over her material, this collection is like a warm clever friend. One who surprises me with their intimate and intricately shaped stories’ Karen McLeod, writer and performer