January 2021 Book Review-TEACHING MY MOTHER TO GIVE BIRTH by Warsan Shire

Say her name correctly.

War-san. Shur-ruh.

She was a force of nature on pages before Beyoncé found her, asking her to be a part of her most ambitious projects (Leomonade and Black Is King). There is a power behind her work that reminds me of sharp knives–persistent, insistent and heavy with skill. I cried reading this book, listening to this book. I made it my purpose to go through her poetry again, soaking up all the healing magic it offers.

I have enjoyed her poetry for so long, and the fact that she has a new book of poetry coming out this year (in April, I believe), only adds to how much I enjoy her work. I love the collection because of its complexity, depth and honesty.

The beautiful, agonizing honesty.

I listened to this on Audible, until I memorized several of her poems. My favorites of this collection are:

The Kitchen

Fire

Bone.

In the year that was 2020, it is totally right that this year start off with firepower, with truth, and remembering just how powerful words still are. Read this book, and re-read it. Then re-read it again.

Also, try these as well:

The Pity (2014)

Her Blue Body (2015)

Penguin Modern Poets 3: Your Family, Your Body (2017-She’s included in this work with 2 other poets)

Bless The Daughter Raised By A Voice In Her Head (2021–this is available for pre-order on Amazon and Kindle)

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