Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony asks: Whose testimony is valid? Whose testimony is worth recording? Osman’s speakers, who are almost always women, assert and reassert in an attempt to establish authority, often through persistent questioning. Specters of race, displacement, and colonialism are often present in her work, providing momentum for speakers to reach beyond their primary, apparent dimensions and better communicate. The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony is about love and longing, divorce, distilled desire, and all the ways we injure ourselves and one another.
Ladan Osman’s work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, Artful Dodge, Narrative Magazine, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, and Vinyl Poetry. Her chapbook, Ordinary Heaven, appears in Seven New Generation African Poets: A Chapbook boxed set. She lives in Chicago.
“[Ladan Osman] writes out of a passion for language, out of a compelling pleasure and challenge in the potential of the voice to humanize us, or perhaps even better, to affirm our humanity. Osman is a warrior poet, and she is dangerous because she is especially gifted and disciplined about her craft, her technical facility with the poem. This collection offers numerous examples of this skillfulness.” -- from the foreword by Kwame Dawes