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'Matriarchies, food, grief'

Written by Hannah Robbins for whathannahreads on Saturday, June 5, 2021

This is a tough poetry collection. Full of colonial pain, gendered violence, and the disappointments of mothers. But it’s also full of love, music, and food.

I moved with many of the poems individually. As a former opera singer, the rework of the Habanera from Carmen really spoke to me as well as to my professional attitudes to Carmen Jones. There is a poem “Cement” about pain after an abortion which really hit me in the context of my own child loss. The image of NH Carnival which is part of my childhood resonated with the aunties who looked after me while dad was hauling speakers. So many familiar pictures and shadows.

This is definitely a collection to return to. To hold great space for all the images. To think about how our histories echo in us and how we see ourselves in our loved ones. RECOMMEND.

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This is a review of Pepper Seed

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‐ Home of the Best in Caribbean & Black British Writing ‐