Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Halsey announced she will have a poetry book come out later this year called I Would Leave Me If I Could. With the poems hitting shelves on Nov. 10, will it touch on race and her fight to be understood as a biracial woman?
Halsey’s poetry collection will explore “longing, love, and the nuances of bipolar disorder.” Publisher Simon & Schuster describes the book as:
In this debut collection, Halsey bares her soul. Bringing the same artistry found in her lyrics, Halsey’s poems delve into the highs and lows of doomed relationships, family ties, sexuality, and mental illness. More hand grenades than confessions, these autobiographical poems explore and dismantle conventional notions of what it means to be a feminist in search of power.
The “family ties” part looks promising for Halsey to share her story on being half-Black and half-White and the criticisms she received about her racial identity while famous.
In an August 2017 Playboy interview, Halsey said she was “white-passing” and that she has “never tried to control anything about black culture.” At first, it sounded like a Rachel Dolezal situation until she cleared up that her father is Black and her mother is White and that her light complexion on first impression does not show her Blackness.
After she emphasized her biracial identity, she complained about hotels in 2018 for having toiletries that “entirely alienates people of color.” She goes on to say she “can’t use this perfumed watered down white people shampoo.” The hair care industry still marks products for “normal hair,” meaning it’s designed for the hair of most White people, for example.
She quickly corrected those who said she is White and didn’t believe racism exists in the hotel toiletry business with clarifying again that she is biracial. Months later, she revealed a photo of herself in her natural curls, where again she faced attacks from fans who didn’t know her biracial identity.
Over the past few weeks, Halsey has been sharing content surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and the latest protests by supporting Black artists and activists on Twitter and Instagram. She even participated in a protest in Los Angeles which she shares in a post on June 1 where she treated protestors hit with rubber bullets and tear gas with a massive first aid kit. The post has 1.5 million likes.
Halsey joins other singer-poets such as Jhené Aiko, the author of the poetry collection 2Fish, and Lana Del Rey, who plans to release her poetry collection and spoken word album Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass later this year.