$19.95 CAD


Nisha Patel 978-177439-023-8 | 108 Pages April, 2021 New Releases, Crow Said Poetry, Ebook, LGBTQ, Minority & Racial Issues, Poetry, Women's Literature

Also available as an ebook from

About this book

(If ordering more than one copy, please email your order to orders@newestpress.com.)

• Interview in The Puritan with Manahil Bandukwala
• Interview and Reading on the NeWest Press Audio podcast

In her debut collection, Canadian National Slam Champion Nisha Patel commands her formidable insight and youthful, engaged voice to relay experiences of racism, sexuality, empowerment, grief, and love. These are vitally political, feminist poems for young women of colour, with bold portrayals of confession, hurt, and healing.

Coconut rises fiercely like the sun. These poems bestow light and warmth and the ability to witness the world, but they ask for more than basking; they ask readers to grow and warn that they can be burnt. Above all, Nisha Patel’s work questions and challenges propriety and what it means to be a good woman, second-generation immigrant, daughter, consumer, and lover.

Excerpt from Coconut

I tell my mother that I want to be a poet

and do not flinch when 26 years of
licking the dirt off the earthworms
no longer tastes like home

I think we forget that the great pyramids of giza
were burial chambers, never meant to hold
anything close to a beating heart or a living dream
and I wonder why it is that when a child of immigrants
wants to be a poet, we pray instead for a prosperous afterlife

I tell my mother that I want to be a poet
and for a second, we fall in love
leave the men we think we
aren’t beautiful enough to abandon
touch palms to the cool tables of our cheeks
hold each other as women do
chest to chest, like we are enough

but if I could write a poem for every time
I have made my mother proud
I would, for once, have nothing to say


"The table of contents of Coconut reads like a poem I wish I could write. Patel’s words collapse well established defences into nothing but excuses. Poems entitled 'chai latte' and ‘father' are both gorgeous and gut wrenching, like a sunset over a tsunami. Readers will hold their breath. The exhale will not bring relief but rather, perspective.”

~ Rebecca Thomas, author of I place you into the fire