Survival Takes a Wild Imagination: Poems
In the powerful follow up to her critically acclaimed debut collection, poet and activist Fariha Róisín is writing, praying, clawing, and scratching her way out of the grips of generational trauma on the search for the freedom her mother never received and the kindness she couldn’t give.
This collection of poetry asks a kaleidoscope of questions: Who is my family? My father? How do I love a mother no longer here? Can I see myself? What does it mean to be Bangladeshi? What is a border? Innately hopeful and resolutely strong, Fariha's voice turns to the optimism and beauty inherent in rebuilding the self, and in turn, the world that the self moves through. Ubiquitous to the human experience, Survival Takes a Wild Imagination is an illuminating breath of fresh air from a powerful poetic voice.
Praise for Survival Takes a Wild Imagination: Poems
"Roísín, a queer Bangladeshi Muslim, returns to poetry after her 2020 novel, Like a Bird, and her 2022 nonfiction title, Who Is Wellness For?. Her new collection takes a hopeful approach to topics including generational trauma, self-love, and freedom, while also exploring her intersecting identities." (Kristen Martin, Publisher's Weekly)
“Her second poetry collection, Survival Takes A Wild Imagination, chronicles her personal journey from self-loathing to celebration… In short, accessible verses, she moves from shame to sexual celebration and freedom. As a survivor of abuse, she dedicates poems to others who have similarly suffered and invokes poetic muses like Audre Lorde and Joy Harjo.” (Amanda Holmes Duffy, Washington Independent Review of Books)
“Survival is remembering yourself,” writes Fariha Róisín, and, “To quiet the sounds of/scarcity/I had to learn that/I was abundant.” I love these lines for their strength and sensitivity to the immense process of self-restoration that survival requires. These are poems that travel, titillate, testify, and teach. These are poems written by a poet insistent on building bridges from grief to love—it is through such movement, Róisín suggests, that we may chart a course towards a future in which survival gives more than it costs. (Tarfia Faizullah, author of Seam and Registers of Illuminated Villages)
Roisin's poems are more than poems. They are ladders out of lit fires. They are bodies in their gravity and sensuous movement. Survival Takes a Wild Imagination and it also takes other writers whose fierce reports from the distant shore of precious joy are a sign to keep swimming and striving towards words and worlds big enough to encompass the howls of both pleasure and pain. (Sophie Strand, author of The Flowering Wand and The Madonna Secret)
"Fariha Róisín’s upcoming poetry book, Survival Takes A Wild Imagination, is a powerful collection of poems that asks a kaleidoscope of questions. The poems are her way to write, pray, and claw her way out of the grips of generational trauma, and try to search for the freedom her mother never received, and the kindness she couldn’t give. I’m a huge fan of Róisín’s writing — she’s got a way with words, and I can’t wait to be swept away in this latest work from her." (Ameema Saeed, She Does The City)
“Fariha Róisín’s poetry is filled with love, poignancy, strength, and the determination to choose her own course. This is how we can begin collectively healing the difficult dynamics that are so prevalent. She advises us to never forget, survival takes a wild imagination.” (Laura Moreno, The Bay Area Reporter)
“Most poetry collections at this length generally move through one or two themes but Róisín’s focuses on a variety of different aspects of her life, her identity, and her faith… Although the collection is split into three sections (to hint at the ideas that connect all of the poems in that section), Róisín weaves all of the ideas, feelings, and memories she’s excavating and interrogating through one another to prove how no one experience is truly untouched by another.” (Stef Rubino, Autostraddle)