In this striking debut, Laurie Ogden wrestles with what it means to define ourselves as human. From the seeming infinity of matryoshka dolls to Maud Wagner and Latrice Royale, Humaning moves through a storm of conflicting notions of womanhood, the body, and difference. Sometimes open and playful, sometimes dark and surreal, the poems offer up self-authorship and anthropomorphism as tools for transformation in the aftermath of trauma, to reset the roots of relationships, and search for the humanity each of us carries inside.
‘Humaning is a slim book of broad worlds from a talented and tuned writer. Laurie Ogden takes us from matryoshka dolls to basketball courts, circus tents to canal paths, to alternate universes and beyond, yet each poem grounds us in the body, in the flesh, in tightly woven tales of young womanhood. It’s a gift of a pamphlet.’ – Inua Ellams
‘Spare and beautifully crafted, Ogden’s poems oscillate between darkness and humour, intimacy and distance, creating a lyric voice that cuts right through to the knotty heart of womanhood.’ – Ella Frears
‘Laced with the desire for the richness of a fully embodied life, Laurie Ogden’s Humaning is a gentle reckoning with self and otherness. Her poems question as often as they affirm; willing and able to venture as much into celebrations of the human and feminine as they are into its limitations, woundings, and bright neon exit signs.’ – Victoria Adukwei Bulley