diversity spotlight thursday

Created by Aimal, you can check out the rules here. Basically, every week you list:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you check out my Diversity Spotlight Thursday tag on the right, you can see my other Diversity Spotlight Thursdays! This week I’m focusing on poetry, because I want to read more, and I think that it is a genre people are unnecessarily intimidated by. Not all poetry is completely inaccessible – sometimes it is the best medium to talk about serious topics. Also – I am currently abroad in gay Paris at the moment, so if I don’t respond to your comment in a couple of days, that’s why!

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Salt is a journey through warmth and sharpness. This collection of poetry explores the realities of multiple identities, language, diasporic life & pain, the self, community, healing, celebration, and love.

You can read my review of salt here! I know that a lot of people have read it already, but if you haven’t, I sincerely suggest giving it a go. This is a poetry anthology for people who don’t like poetry.

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The U.S. debut of internationally acclaimed poet and performance artist Shailja Patel, Migritude is a tour-de-force hybrid text that confounds categories and conventions. Part poetic memoir, part political history, Migritude weaves together family history, reportage and monologues to create an achingly beautiful portrait of women’s lives and migrant journeys undertaken under the boot print of Empire. Patel, who was born in Kenya and educated in England and the U.S., honed her poetic skills in performances of this work that have received standing ovations throughout Europe, Africa and North America. She has been described by the Gulf Times as -the poetic equivalent of Arundhati Roy- and by CNN as -the face of globalization as a people-centered phenomenon of migration and exchange.- Migritude includes interviews with the author, as well as performance notes and essays.

Doesn’t Migritude sound absolutely fantastic? I like that it includes interviews and essays as well – I’m one of those people who really likes to know what the poet/performer was thinking when they created certain pieces, so I’m hoping that I’ll get an insight into that!

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Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood and a diagnosis of HIV positive. Some of us are killed / in pieces, Smith writes, some of us all at once. Don t Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America Dear White America where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.

Don’t Call Us Dead is a poetry collection that I would absolutely love to get my hands on. It was given 5 stars by Roxane Gay (one of my faves) who specifically mentions how good the representations are of being HIV+. I really think that this is going to be a powerful collection.

What diverse poetry have you read? I’ve also recently got my hands on bone and soft magic, which I enjoyed, but felt way too similar to salt for me to really review properly.

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