Read Excerpt’s From ‘When You Ask Me Where I’m Going’ by Jasmin Kaur

Poetry is one of the most beautiful forms of writing in the world. That’s my opinion. It’s writing that is quick to evoke feelings and emotions.

It’s writing that makes you think and helps to make sense of the world.

When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by was released yesterday and if you’re a fan of Rupi Kaur and Elizabeth Acevedo, you’re going to love Jasmin’s debut.

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.

We’re pleased to bring you excerpts from her debut below –



surround yourself with those
who would be there without
a piece of you to stand upon

those who are drawn to
your highest self

those who wish to stand
by your side as you plant
roots in soil far richer than
hatred or praise.

when you shrink as you enter a room these are the things that cross my mind

1. have you ever heard yourself laugh?
it always forces me to do the same.
your laughter makes contagious things
seem beautiful.

2. you are light and even the shadows
you cast are warm.

3. how long as it been since you stopped
to marvel at the entire garden of your thoughts?
i swear, sometimes orchids fall when you speak.

4. the rain inside me was unrelenting
you didn’t need to. you really didn’t.
but you offered me an umbrella.

5. i don’t think you saw my eyes
the night your work was on display.
the room was far too dark.
they were filled with water.

6. if it was me, you would demand
that i climb my mountain.
today i’m asking you to face yours.

7. you make me feel like i matter.
that’s a big deal for someone like me.

8. i’ve been searching for a mirror capable of
your joy. i guess this normal one will have to do for
remember that you are a universe and this single
cannot contain you.

9. i know it’s impossible to be okay just by
touching the hearts of others. not when everything
inside you stings. but you helped someone else heal.
that came from within you. imagine what you could
to nourish your own heart.

10. i can’t count how many times a day
you choose to be your most honest self.
when this room tells you to shrink
remind it of your blooming.

i tell myself that my body
is a garden of flowers
but when most of us
are caught up
in the scene of roses
we forget about the dirt
that they bloom from

all the struggle
that comes before the sunlight
all the push that pulls us
to stay rooted in ourselves

and here we are. finding ourselves.
as we crack and grow
and rise.

The earth aches when hardened soil
Cracks open but this is the only way
To anchor new roots

My people have never silenced pain
But we have always honored that
Which allows us to grow.

Pick up your copy today! 

Excerpted with permission from When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by Jasmin Kaur. © 2019 by Jasmin Kaur. Harpercollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

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