Jay Délise

tenderhead. (2020)


“tenderhead. is just that: tender. A full spectrum of emotion presented with all the love and care it deserves but so seldom receives. This book blends pain, love, joy, and rage almost seamlessly with a wicked sense of humour that cushions each blow as it comes. It reaches back and forward to depict queer Black girls as current and timeless and utterly sublime as the night sky.

When you read tenderhead., you won’t immediately notice that you’ve swallowed a mouthful of bees. If you have a bellyful of flowers you will walk away in full bloom, knowing that you – queer Black girl – are the whole world. If you don’t, you will leave stung and swollen and deeply uncomfortable. Both may happen. Both are important.”

Maz Hedgehog (Vivat Regina)

ISBN: 978-1-906742-93-5 Category: Tags: ,

Praise and Poems

tenderhead. is a collection that “dances to the sounds of street”. The evocative pieces speak to current issues of racism and misogyny whilst painfully reminding us of the tenderness that poetry and love can have “poetry for me is rocking when you hug someone / is my mother’s hands”. With a debut collection like this, I’m sure that Jay will soon become a household name. Watch this space.

Afshan D’souza Lodhi (It’s Not About The Burqa, re: desire)

Jay Delise’s tenderhead.  is not for the faint of heart. In fact, to get through it without surrendering to anger or judgment (because this is not your story. Maybe it is…), you must continually suspend your beliefs or disbeliefs. Truth is, the opening poem, “I Should Probably Come Out To My Mother” serves as a clear warning that you are in for truth, and nothing but the truth.

from the Foreword by Dr Gretna Wilkinson, PhD, founder of The Raven’s Perch


From A Tribute to
Underground Jazz

“Back in the day, they…”
She’d say
And with a swing
Of her hips
Resurrect the
Mom and pop felt
As they procreated

And every time
The music got her way
She wailed high
Into the night sky:
Let’s get it on
Encouraging the birth
Of a new generation of
Grown Folks’ Business
They tell us: Don’t tell nobody


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