Outside Looking On was one of the 'Guardian Books of the Year 2014'
Chimène Suleyman's debut poetry collection explores the positive and negative side of loneliness and boredom, using the Docklands as allegory and symbol. The tall, glass monoliths are as lonely as the characters who exist around them. But they offer constant support; a navigational tool, stars in the sky, always there, lights on. A constant presence of reminder and reassurance.
Outside Looking On asks if it is possible to claim a building for yourself that doesn’t know you exist?
Praise for Outside Looking On
'Chimène Suleyman writes beautiful, luminescent poems that get to the heart of our complicated relationship with the urban landscape; what we see, what is imagined, what we remember.'
– Niven Govinden
'Outside Looking On is authentic, sad, honest, brutally funny, utterly heartwrenching and brilliantly real in each of these poems that deal with loss, life and finding the light in the epicentre of dark times. Chimène is a wonderfully accomplished poet and this collection shows off a new writer who will go on to great things.'
– Nikesh Shukla
'Vivid and funny, sometimes horrific but always human. Chimène Suleyman is an extraordinary talent.'
– Evie Wyld
'Outside Looking On is a strong, thoughtful, challenging first collection.'
'Suleyman always begins right at the heart.'
'For producing this work, given both its tone and its time, Suleyman is not merely an outstanding writer, but an important one.'
'Drawing from the ugly/beautiful concrete vistas of Canary Wharf to craft verses on the themes of loneliness,racism and boredom.'
'Suleyman captures big ideas in short vignettes without compromising any detail or direction of plot. In the introduction to the book Suleyman writes ‘Aren’t we all lost and missing?’ The concept of this book therefore is to remind us of our collective existence in an environment we find both hostile and comforting. Suleyman’s poems do just that.'
'This is a modern, sharp-edged collection, as hard and shiny as the buildings that form its unsparing skyline.'
– Bare Fiction
No Longer An Allegory Of War: A Personal Reflection On Images & Conflict by Chimène Suleyman
About the Author
Chimène is a legend on the live London poetry scene. She has represented the UK at the Internationale Biennale 2011 and led installations at the Royal Opera House. She has been collecting photos of Canary Wharf since she was a child. She writes regularly for the Independent and Media Diversified.
Publication date: 14 September 2014