• Poetry Book Reviews

    If They Come for Us

    My goodness what an astounding collection of poetry! I was absolutely dazzled by this debut collection and I’m honestly ashamed that I was granted an ARC and did not get to reading it sooner. Asghar speaks to a generation of Asian American women with a great deal of understanding and empathy. There were several times where a poem hit close to home, particularly in the sections about needing to cover up one’s race and religion, or of the shame that comes with losing one’s native language. “you speak a language until you don’t. until you only recognize it between your auntie’s lips. your father was fluent in four languages. you’re…

  • Poetry Book Reviews

    Sisters’ Entrance

    I’ve struggled to gather my thoughts on this collection, I was just so blown away and overwhelmed by the emotions elicited by this book. The poetry collected here comes from a very personal place for the author, who is a Sudanese refugee that survived the war and genocide in Darfur. “When you build nations on someone’s bones what sense does it make to break them?” Some poems were heavy and spoke of her traumatic experiences such as in People Like Us and The Bride. Others, like Why I Haven’t Told You Yet, were more light-hearted but still carry a strong message. All of these poems pulled together shape the author,…

  • Feminist Essay Book Reviews

    Are Women Human?

    There are three essays in this collection, two written in the 1930s by the author including the titular essay, Are Women Human? as well as an introduction by Mary McDermott Shideler about Dorothy L. Sayers’ career. Both of Sayers’ essays are brilliant, full of razor sharp wit and strong analysis of society, first wave feminism, and the church respectively. While Sayers probably wouldn’t want her essays to be considered “feminist,” she was far ahead of her time with feminist theory. One of her core criticisms of feminism was that feminists at times make the same mistake that men do in treating women like another class of human. She outlines the…

  • Feminist Essay Book Reviews

    Women & Power: A Manifesto

    What a great example of history providing context for the present day, Women & Power is a pair of essays by classicist Mary Beard. The author does a phenomenal job linking Greek and Roman mythology to present day attitudes toward women in power. She dissects the tradition of viewing public speech as a defining male trait. “For a start it doesn’t much matter what line you take as a woman, if you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It is not what you say that prompts it, it’s simply the fact that you’re saying it.” Beard offers a compelling argument about the way that public speech has…

  • Poetry Book Reviews

    And Still I Rise

    Maya Angelou was an incredible woman and an astoundingly good writer. And Still I Rise is the first book I’ve read by Angelou and I was absolutely blown away. The poems in this collection have a good rhythm and roll off the tongue, I definitely think that they’d be pretty approachable for readers that don’t read poetry often. Many of the poems had a playful, even mocking tone even when talking about dark subjects which really showcases Angelou’s mastery of the English language. Analytical readers will find many of the poems to be thick with metaphor, giving readers a lot to reflect on after each poem. “Did you want to…

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