homegoing – Michigan Quarterly Review


Published in Spring 2024 Online Folio

Spring 2024 | Dalia Elhassan Reads “homegoing” MQR Sound

Dalia Elhassan reads “homegoing” for the Michigan Quarterly Review's Spring 2024 issue “African Writing: A Partial Cartography of Provocations”. Read the text for this piece on the MQR website.

i claim the corner seat

on the back of this pickup truck

with my uncles whose skins

are the color of freshly ground bun

and habahan

we’re five hundred miles

east of the place where the white

and blue nile meet

i come from a country

where all we sing

are love songs

a country where all

the songs can be about love

or             my parents

father not yet my baba

seeing my mother

and her fair skin

for the first time

or             the first time she flashes

him a smile/baba guiding

a prayer through the gap

between his two front teeth

or             my grandfather planting

a pomegranate tree

in the house my grandmother

prays a family in

or             my uncle’s beard

pressing dimples onto

my neck the first time

he hugs me in twelve years

More poems by Dalia Elhassan in MQR’s African Writing Online Folio:

This piece is from our Spring 2024 African Writing Online Folio, an online-exclusive extension of our special issue, “African Writing: A Partial Cartography of Provocations,” guest edited by Chris Abani. You can read more from our Spring 2024 issue, available for purchase in print and digital forms here.

Dalia Elhassan is a Sudanese-American poet and writer living in NYC. Her work has been featured in The Kenyon Review, The Oakland Arts Review, Rattle #59, and most recently in the New-Generation African Poets Series (Sita) with her chapbook, In Half Light (2019, Akashic Books and the African Poetry Book Fund). She is the recipient of the Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Prize for nonfiction and was shortlisted for the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. She can be found online @daliaelhassan.

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