The islands of an archipelago are isolated above sea level but attached underwater; connected yet separate. archipelago, the debut poetry collection from Laila Malik, traces fragments of family, becoming and unbecoming against the shifting shorelines of loss, multigenerational migration, and (un)belonging.

Malik’s lyrical poems intertwine histories of exile and ecological devastation. Beginning with a coming of age in the 80s and 90s between Canada, the Arabian Gulf, East Africa and Kashmir, they subvert conventions of lineage, instead drawing on the truths of inter-ethnic histories amidst sparse landscapes of deserts, oceans, and mountains. They question why the only certainties of “home” are urgency and impossibility.

At its core, archipelago is a letter to the daughters who come before and after, a quiet disclosure of barbed ancestral legacies that only come into focus through poetry.


Laila Malik

Laila Malik is a desisporic settler and writer in Adobigok, traditional land of Indigenous communities that include the Anishinaabe, Seneca, Mohawk Haudenosaunee, and Wendat. Her work has been widely published in magazines and journals, including Contemporary Verse 2, Canthius, The New Quarterly, Ricepaper, Qwerty, Room, Sukoon, The Bangalore Review, and Archetype. Malik’s essays have been longlisted for five different creative non-fiction contests, and she was a fellow at the Banff Centre for Creative Arts in 2021.
Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


Contains the poem: all your grandmothers have stopped cooking 4 $0.40


Contains the poems: acacia honey – the organic properties of sand – just kids going home – cutlery – charred grain – grain II. 16 $1.60


Contains the poems: the first gulf war – we ignored the 5,000-year-old temple ruins – kafala – vanishing axes – majnun. 12 $1.20


Contains the poems: rites – wrong bones – zero bridge – fajr is the loneliest number – hidden lines – letter to my stardust sister – how to season a turkey. 14 $1.40


Contains the poems: the widow’s inventory – still the heart – baby shark – urdu – crooked elbows. 17 $1.70


Contains the poem: irreconciliation. 4 $0.40