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The Emma Press


My Sneezes Are Perfect

My Sneezes Are Perfect


Poems by Rakhshan Rizwan, with Yusuf Samee. Illustrated by Benjamin Phillips.

“I don’t want to have a beard.

It’s my worst nightmare

to have poky hair follicles

sticking out from my chin.

It’s going to be a very sad day

when I grow hair from my face.”

An Emma Press Children’s Poetry Collection

Approximate reading age: for reading aloud to children aged 6+; for children aged 8+ to read on their own

Page count: 96

Publication date: 18th February 2021


GTIN: N/A SKU: 978-1-912915-68-2 Categories: , , , Tag:

Rakhshan Rizwan

Rakhshan Rizwan is a writer and scholar working at the intersection of creative and scholarly practice. She is a postdoctoral researcher affiliated with Utrecht University in the Netherlands and has a PhD in Comparative Literature. She is the winner of the Judith Khan Memorial Prize for Poetry (2015), and her debut pamphlet Paisley (The Emma Press, 2017) was shortlisted in the Saboteur Awards as well as the Michael Marks Awards. Her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Blue Lyra Review, Bird's Thumb, aaduna and Postcolonial Text. She is the author of Kashmiri Life Narratives (Routledge), a research monograph which explores the intersections between human rights and literature in the Valley of Kashmir. She speaks four languages and is originally from Pakistan but has lived in Germany, the Netherlands and currently lives in the Bay Area in the United States.


What’s your favourite food? Who’s your best friend? Have you tried to grow a rock? Aren’t beards weird? Did you ever move house and miss where you used to live? Didn’t a lot change when the pandemic started?

My Sneezes Are Perfect is a collection of poems in the voice of a small boy who wants to tell you about all the things he’s learning, all the time. During the book, he moves from the Netherlands to America and has to adjust to his new life there. Then Covid-19 hits and his world changes all over again.

‘A serious, engaging and thought-provoking collection of poems, observations, meditations and memories.’ The School Reading List

‘This collection for children, written by Rakhshan Rizwan with the help of her 6-year-old son, seems to me to be the perfect mix of fun and thoughtfulness. I loved spending time in the company of the child narrating these poems and getting his take on the world.’ Lorraine Mariner, The National Poetry Library 

Watch Rakhshan read from My Sneezes Are Perfect:

Additional information

Dimensions 12.3 × 18.4 cm

Print, eBook

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