From one of the most-viewed spoken word poets of all time, a poetry collection exploring themes of loneliness, anxiety and longing, while also celebrating the gifts that come with being alone—the chance to live on your own terms, to learn to love yourself without any distractions, and to become your own biggest champion.
Over the past few years, Sabrina Benaim toured nonstop across North America and beyond in support of her first book, Depression & Other Magic Tricks, performing, connecting with readers, and leading writing workshops. People constantly thank Sabrina for giving them the confidence and language they needed to acknowledge their own mental health struggles and ask for help, as well as for providing them with a safe refuge. Then, suddenly, Sabrina's long-term relationship ended, the world went into lockdown, and her mother fell ill. Living alone in a different country, with nowhere else to go, Sabrina returned to the page.
Unfurling over the course of July 2020—a blisteringly hot month spent in isolation—and in 75 original poems, I Love You, Call Me Back dares to embrace loneliness in all its permutations: the sorrow of getting your mother's voicemail when you call to say "I love you"; the bittersweetness when your dog takes up your ex's side of the bed; the joy of eating ice cream for dinner and singing badly, loudly. Here, Sabrina attempts to work out who she is when nobody else is around, and she comes out the other side with a whole new sense of strength and self-worth.
I Love You, Call Me Back is an ode to Sabrina's mom, a celebration of life in the face of so many unknowns, and the cathartic, healing balm we all need right now and for years to come. In her words, "Sometimes self-care is just surviving." And that's okay. Sabrina shows us that there's beauty and courage in that, too.
About the author
SABRINA BENAIM is a poet, storyteller and workshop facilitator. She is one of the most-viewed spoken word poets of all time and is the author of the bestselling collection of poetry Depression & Other Magic Tricks. Sabrina believes in breaking down stigma around mental illness, women helping women, and ghosts. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
"I Love You, Call Me Back is such a towering testament to the human condition, which rings and echoes louder and longer now, after a year of distance, a year of sometimes isolation. This book reminded me of how to come back into myself, how to come back into a world that will maybe be more gentle than before. But even if it isn't, I'm more ready for it now than I was before finding these poems."
—Hanif Abdurraqib, New York Times bestselling author of Go Ahead in the Rain
"Sabrina Benaim is a magician when it comes to writing about heartache in a way that evaporates the heartache of the reader. It's been years since I’ve read anything that so fully captures the pulse of solitude, and the undying connections that live beneath its ache. I Love You, Call Me Back feels genre-less in the very best of ways, a poetry collection-meets a memoir in verse-meets a love letter to the wrecking ball that shatters all of the walls between us. Time slowed down when I read these words. I'd look up from the page and notice a hundred details about my surroundings that I hadn't noticed before. I am more HERE because of this book, and I can't think of a greater gift to my life than that."
—Andrea Gibson, author of Take Me with You and Lord of the Butterflies
"[T]his vulnerable collection focuses on the little, specific moments of sadness of missing someone; the isolation so many felt throughout 2020; and a raw, deep reminder that we cannot have joy without sorrow."