Author Chat with Jasmin Kaur (When You Ask Me Where I'm Going), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Jasmin Kaur author of
When You Ask Me Where I'm Going.
Read on for more about Jasmin and her book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Jasmin Kaur!
Jasmin Kaur is a writer, illustrator and spoken word artist living in Vancouver, BC. Her writing, which explores feminism, social justice, survival and love, acts as a means of healing and reclaiming identity. As a poet and teacher, she has toured across North America, the UK and Australia to captivate audiences through her poetic storytelling. You can visit her online at www.jasminkaur.com and on Instagram @jusmun.
Meet When You Ask Me Where I'm Going!
Perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur and Elizabeth Acevedo, Jasmin Kaur’s stunning debut novel is a collection of poetry, illustrations, and prose.
so that one day
a hundred years from now
another sister will not have to
dry her tears wondering
where in history
she lost her voice
The six sections of the book explore what it means to be a young woman living in a world that doesn’t always hear her and tell the story of Kiran as she flees a history of trauma and raises her daughter, Sahaara, while living undocumented in North America.
Delving into current cultural conversations including sexual assault, mental health, feminism, and immigration, this narrative of resilience, healing, empowerment, and love will galvanize readers to fight for what is right in their world.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I write because of my desire to take up space as a Sikh woman. In a world that is very happy to craft narratives of fear and oppression about my life as a kaur, a Sikh woman, it’s important for me to be able to bring an honest voice to my experiences. Growing up, I didn’t a single girl like me in any of the books I read. It never even occurred to me that a Punjabi Sikh girl could be the protagonist of a story because I’d simply never seen it. Through my work, I hope to change this for Sikh girls and women.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
To believe in the value of my work. I wish I could tell myself, especially in those moments when I considered deleting my Instagram and giving up on my manuscript, that my work would one day reach the people who needed it. I believe that writers need to be equipped with humility and confidence in equal amounts: we should recognize our limitless potential for growth without forgetting the worth of our voices.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I adore the layers, literally and figuratively, within Eiko Ojala’s artwork. I love that symbolism is incorporated in the cover art of this poetry-heavy collection. It speaks directly to the power of metaphor. To me, the artwork has always connoted a river (Perhaps, a stream of consciousness!) but I’m so curious about how it speaks to others.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2019?
I cannot wait to read Trista Mateer’s new poetry collection APHRODITE MADE ME DO IT, which happens to share a book birthday with WHEN YOU ASK ME WHERE I’M GOING. Mateer’s voice is candid, sincere and so very resonant. Her work does what the best poetry does: it speaks to a place within me that I didn’t know was waiting to be spoken to.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2018?
I loved Andrea Gibson’s poetry collection TAKE ME WITH YOU. Andrea’s spoken word brings me to tears and I often find myself mesmerized by the way they can pack so much emotion within a single line. Gibson’s work is raw, heartfelt and so very clever.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Revising, without a doubt. While drafting can sometimes feel like walking through darkness and simply hoping to be headed in the right direction, revising allows me to detach from a single version of a scene of written or an entire work to imagine stronger versions of the story. Beautiful stories rarely happen organically in the first draft. It’s through writing and rewriting and rewriting again that we reach the heart of our narratives.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I think that my sense of empathy is both my strength and weakness. I tend to feel like a conduit for the emotions of others. This is important when it comes to writing poetry as it allows me to tap into a place of vulnerability when writing. It can also be deeply painful when people share their own traumatic experiences with me. I quickly internalize other people’s feelings and sit with their emotions long after they leave.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I’m so appreciative of the human rights work done by Ensaaf. Ensaaf is “a nonprofit organization working to end impunity and achieve justice for crimes against humanity in India, with a special focus on Punjab, by documenting abuses, bringing perpetrators to justice, and organizing survivors” (Ensaaf.org). Many of my political poems address Indian state violence that has taken place in my motherland of Punjab. For those interested in researching further into this subject matter, I strongly recommend reading the accounts Sikh genocide survivors documented by Ensaaf.
When You Ask Me Where I'm Going
By: Jasmin Kaur
Release Date: October 1st, 2019
Three winners will each receive a copy of When You Ask Me Where I'm Going (Jasmin Kaur) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*