Hello, friends! I'm back with a new poetry book to review. This one really struck me with its beauty and its fearlessness. I had the wonderful opportunity to review "You're the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened" by Arisa White and I absolutely loved it!
First, here's a little synopsis of the book:
Angular, smart, and fearless, Arisa White’s newest collection takes its titles from words used internationally as hate speech against gays and lesbians, reworking, re-envisioning, and re-embodying language as a conduit for art, love, and understanding. “To live freely, observantly as a politically astute, sensually perceptive Queer Black woman is to be risk taker, at risk, a perceived danger to others and even dangerous to/as oneself,” writes poet Tracie Morris. “White’s attentive word substitutions and range of organized forms, lithe anecdotes, and disturbed resonances put us in the middle of living a realized, intelligent life of the senses.” You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened works through intersectional encounters with gender, identity, and human barbarism, landing deftly and defiantly in beauty.
White captures love, sensuality, identity, grief, fear, and gratitude in this powerful collection of poems. I was moved by her imagery, by her appreciation of the female form, by her word choice, by her rhythm.
2 particular passages from the collection stood out to me:
From "Warm Water":
I am at your doorstep. Each tear opens us up to our promise—
bring the wake of your hand to my cheek. What I need today is
your sunshine that pulls me from earth.
I was teenaged, searching for a face
to reflect my own who would call me beautiful
enough to make me think it’s possible she’s not lying.
I definitely recommend reading this book; it's one of my favorites of the year. It releases on October 21st.
About the Poet:
|Photo credit: Nye’ Lyn Tho|
Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, and Black Pearl. She was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List and is a member of the PlayGround writers’ pool; her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of Play Ground Festival. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College in Maryland, Arisa has also received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Juniper Summer Writing Institute, Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2005 and 2014, her poetry has been published widely and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: Augury Books (October 21, 2016)
Available on: Amazon
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
This review was coordinated by Poetic Book Tours.