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I am The Rage is a poetry collection that explores racial injustice from the raw, unfiltered viewpoint of a Black woman in America. Dr. Martina McGowan is a retired MD, a mother, grandmother, and a poet. Her poetry provides insights that no think piece on racism can; putting readers in the uncomfortable position of feeling, reflecting, and facing what it means to be a Blac I am The Rage is a poetry collection that explores racial injustice from the raw, unfiltered viewpoint of a Black woman in America. Dr. Martina McGowan is a retired MD, a mother, grandmother, and a poet. Her poetry provides insights that no think piece on racism can; putting readers in the uncomfortable position of feeling, reflecting, and facing what it means to be a Black American. This entire collection was created during 2020, many shortly after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, to name but a few.


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I am The Rage is a poetry collection that explores racial injustice from the raw, unfiltered viewpoint of a Black woman in America. Dr. Martina McGowan is a retired MD, a mother, grandmother, and a poet. Her poetry provides insights that no think piece on racism can; putting readers in the uncomfortable position of feeling, reflecting, and facing what it means to be a Blac I am The Rage is a poetry collection that explores racial injustice from the raw, unfiltered viewpoint of a Black woman in America. Dr. Martina McGowan is a retired MD, a mother, grandmother, and a poet. Her poetry provides insights that no think piece on racism can; putting readers in the uncomfortable position of feeling, reflecting, and facing what it means to be a Black American. This entire collection was created during 2020, many shortly after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, to name but a few.

30 review for I Am the Rage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark Alpheus

    Oh, friend, did this book made me feel a lot. I do feel like this is more of a book that you just have to read to know why I seem to find it difficult to find the right words for it. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try though. I Am The Rage is more than just your average poetry book. It is a testament, a history unraveled, a century-old pain bottled up. Yet it is not angry, and isn’t it true? The oppressed call only for equality, not violence, because they know violence is not the answer. I highly reco Oh, friend, did this book made me feel a lot. I do feel like this is more of a book that you just have to read to know why I seem to find it difficult to find the right words for it. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try though. I Am The Rage is more than just your average poetry book. It is a testament, a history unraveled, a century-old pain bottled up. Yet it is not angry, and isn’t it true? The oppressed call only for equality, not violence, because they know violence is not the answer. I highly recommend this book to fans of Jason Reynolds. What’s so unique about this book, you may ask, and can I just say it’s written from the point of view of a mother. https://writtenbyal.wordpress.com/202...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dinah Moore

    i am the rage is an outstanding book of contemporary #poems . the collection is on the smaller side, but I stewed and savored over these for weeks. every single line in this #anthology reached deep down into my soul but my favorites are “Forever Lost between Sunlight and Shadow (for Breonna)” which is dedicated to #breonnataylor ♥️ and “We Still Stand (Noble and Proud)” dr. mcgowan’s rage really transcends the pages and is almost tangible. you don’t want to miss out on this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Misse Jones

    OH MY GOD! What a riveting collection of poetry Dr. Martina McGowan birthed in i am the rage. It is a timely, necessary, gritty, earth shattering and impeccable production that must be read and savored several times over. What it is not, in essence, is a collection for the faint at heart. After all, it is often said that the truth hurts and McGowan has an incredible ability of evoking all of the feels in this one. In the title poem, she takes us layers deep: I am the outrage that flares every tim OH MY GOD! What a riveting collection of poetry Dr. Martina McGowan birthed in i am the rage. It is a timely, necessary, gritty, earth shattering and impeccable production that must be read and savored several times over. What it is not, in essence, is a collection for the faint at heart. After all, it is often said that the truth hurts and McGowan has an incredible ability of evoking all of the feels in this one. In the title poem, she takes us layers deep: I am the outrage that flares every time you say something foolish like “I thought you were already free.” I am the disappointment that breathes hot and silent Every time I am dismissed Discharged Dishonored Cast aside Counted as worthless or meaningless Each poem thoughtfully building upon one another, laying claim to the rage in each of us as we live to see another day. As we hope for the change that often does not come. It was hard to pick a favorite because they were all so amazingly good. I was able to narrow down to a top three. In My Rearview Mirror speaks to the constant fear and anxiety that builds driving while Black. Numb to the News drives home the notion that while we are tired, we cannot afford to give in to the narrative that has become us. And last but certainly not least, Why We Beat Our Children questions how far as parents we are willing to go to keep our children safe without destroying them. This book is LAYERS DEEP, and one I encourage you add to your libraries. I am blessed a friend gifted me a copy. Most honorable mention to the illustrator, Diana Ejaita whose illustrations so eloquently accompanied the words flowing throughout these pages.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Malkie Hematillake

    This one of the most important books you could pick up. Dr. McGowan is raw, poignant, and unapologetic with her prose. I don’t have words that could do this justice, so I’m just going to say that this is a must-read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julia Buendgen

    Incredible! I am going to give this book to everyone that I know! Everyone needs to read this book! It is short and packs a punch. This book is raw and looks at racism in America with no filter. Ten out of ten. I love this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Brown

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. "Living in a world where I am more terrified of dying while doing ordinary things Than I am of dying of this deadly plague" I am The Rage by Dr. Marina McGowan is a debut poetry collection uncovering the emotions behind racial injustice in America. Dr. McGowan writes about Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, the BLM movement, and the everyday struggles of being a Black woman in a country filled with racism. This coll Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. "Living in a world where I am more terrified of dying while doing ordinary things Than I am of dying of this deadly plague" I am The Rage by Dr. Marina McGowan is a debut poetry collection uncovering the emotions behind racial injustice in America. Dr. McGowan writes about Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, the BLM movement, and the everyday struggles of being a Black woman in a country filled with racism. This collection is written beautifully, and each poem contains a clear and distinct voice. I could feel the pain and anger behind each word. This collection is powerful, hard hitting, and thought provoking. Another stunning part of this collection are the illustrations. Each one is simple, yet evokes deep emotion. Such a brilliant debut, and I am excited to read more by Dr. McGowan. Again, thank you to NetGalley, Dr. Martina McGowan, and the publisher for the opportunity to read this collection of poems early.

  7. 5 out of 5

    zainab

    this collection was written beautifully and the writing was wonderful to read. every poem laid thought provoking ideas that carried such a sincere and honest tone. it felt eye opening, allowing one to envision an experience they could never have.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    This is a very powerful book; that's actually not even a strong enough word. This is unlike anything I've ever read before. Every poem had imagery that literally took my breath away, words that demanded to be read out loud. I can't pick a favorite or most impactful poem, but Forever Lost between Sunlight and Shadow hit incredibly hard; it's about Breonna Taylor. But there isn't a poem in here that dragged or that was easier to read. This is such a necessary read for everyone. Martina McGowan has a This is a very powerful book; that's actually not even a strong enough word. This is unlike anything I've ever read before. Every poem had imagery that literally took my breath away, words that demanded to be read out loud. I can't pick a favorite or most impactful poem, but Forever Lost between Sunlight and Shadow hit incredibly hard; it's about Breonna Taylor. But there isn't a poem in here that dragged or that was easier to read. This is such a necessary read for everyone. Martina McGowan has a use of language the likes of which I've never seen. She uses words as a weapon and as a request and as a bridge and an accusation and a prayer. She uses words I know, words I use but in such a way that it's very obvious that I will never be able to do anything even a tenth as well as she writes. And I could read this book 100 more times and be struck by something new. This book is a force to be reckoned with and I am grateful I got to read it. Highly, highly recommended. Everyone needs to read this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Grace W

    (c/p from my review on TheStoryGraph) This book is powerful in its rage. I love the lack of sugar coating, I love the call outs, I love the voice, the writing, the imagery, everything. This book had me enraptured, completely sucked in to the point where I didn't always hear my wife talking to me because I was busy reading. TW for this book include: Racism (including slurs), Rape, and Police brutality (c/p from my review on TheStoryGraph) This book is powerful in its rage. I love the lack of sugar coating, I love the call outs, I love the voice, the writing, the imagery, everything. This book had me enraptured, completely sucked in to the point where I didn't always hear my wife talking to me because I was busy reading. TW for this book include: Racism (including slurs), Rape, and Police brutality

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    The poetry collection, I Am The Rage, by Dr. Martina McGowan is a stunningly vulnerable and passionate reflection on race, history, and police brutality in America. Some of the poems touch on how deeply affecting unceasing fear, daily stresses, and microagressions are causing anguish and hopelessness. In the collection, McGowan describes the white supremacy America was built on and the reality of two Americas, separated by race. Only recently it seems white people have begun to grasp the reality The poetry collection, I Am The Rage, by Dr. Martina McGowan is a stunningly vulnerable and passionate reflection on race, history, and police brutality in America. Some of the poems touch on how deeply affecting unceasing fear, daily stresses, and microagressions are causing anguish and hopelessness. In the collection, McGowan describes the white supremacy America was built on and the reality of two Americas, separated by race. Only recently it seems white people have begun to grasp the reality POC face every day. She illustrates the trauma passed through generations and necessity for assimilation and children to grow up quickly and fall in line or face dire consequences. Though there is sorrow, there is also passion, rage, and hope in the poems. Affecting bold Illustrations accompany the poems. I Am The Rage is a truly wonderful collection. Thank you Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing this ARC.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A stunningly beautiful, poignant, and powerful book. Dr McGowan speaks on themes of racism, reflects on the killings of unarmed Black people, and the protests of the summer of 2020. Each poem is a gutting in its honesty and vulnerability. A definite must read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I Am the Rage. One of the collections I've read recently that seems to matter most with what's going on in our country right now. Beautifully written, and powerful. I urge you to pick this up and give it a read. "The newest war on racism is new to You" I Am the Rage. One of the collections I've read recently that seems to matter most with what's going on in our country right now. Beautifully written, and powerful. I urge you to pick this up and give it a read. "The newest war on racism is new to You"

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vera

    "But your vile language And contemptible moral superiority Can no longer be tolerated And, in case you did not know, Tolerate is not a word of friendship" After the BLM movement broke out in May 2020, I knew some amazing pieces of media would be born by the rightful rage of protesters. The most beautiful verses are often known to be produced by heartbreak. Martina McGowan's voice is a powerful one, promising to go just as viral as Rupi Kaur's. If Kaur was a feminist icon (although I never really loved "But your vile language And contemptible moral superiority Can no longer be tolerated And, in case you did not know, Tolerate is not a word of friendship" After the BLM movement broke out in May 2020, I knew some amazing pieces of media would be born by the rightful rage of protesters. The most beautiful verses are often known to be produced by heartbreak. Martina McGowan's voice is a powerful one, promising to go just as viral as Rupi Kaur's. If Kaur was a feminist icon (although I never really loved her poetry), McGowan can be an icon for the racial fight. As, in May and June, influencers started giving out titles of fiction and non-fiction to read in order to educate ourselves as white people, this is a title I wish I'd seen. To read essays and to read emotions are very different things. McGowan doesn't need to explain pain or fear or caution or burnout, because her words and thoughts are enough and tighten like hands around one's throat. Her pen is a powerful and painful one. That is very needed. "America, something is wrong We are the walking reminders of an assortment of sins The sins you now seek to turn into corpses at every opportunity" Thanks to NetGalley for the EARC version of the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susie Dumond

    Powerful poetry about racism in America. Just like the title, Dr. McGowan does not hold back her rage and fire for justice. These poems pack a punch, and McGowan's voice is so strong. Definitely worth a read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. Powerful poetry about racism in America. Just like the title, Dr. McGowan does not hold back her rage and fire for justice. These poems pack a punch, and McGowan's voice is so strong. Definitely worth a read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This collection of poetry was amazing. Some of the poems broke my heart. I think everyone needs to read this book. *Thank you NetGalley for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. *

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    I Am The Rage is a raw, powerful collection of poems exploring the racial injustices that seem overly prevalent within the United States. Dr. Martina McGowan is not only a retired MD, she is a mother and grandmother, and she is a Black woman who’s in-your-face, yet moving poetry brings new insights, as well as an awareness, to the systematic racism that is inherent in almost everything, from educational opportunities to the police and their tendency towards brutality. After the needless deaths o I Am The Rage is a raw, powerful collection of poems exploring the racial injustices that seem overly prevalent within the United States. Dr. Martina McGowan is not only a retired MD, she is a mother and grandmother, and she is a Black woman who’s in-your-face, yet moving poetry brings new insights, as well as an awareness, to the systematic racism that is inherent in almost everything, from educational opportunities to the police and their tendency towards brutality. After the needless deaths of members of the Black community, such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the BLM protests that followed, Dr. McGowan wrote the entirety of this collection in 2020. These poems really moved me; they are raw, honest, and eye-opening. They don't sugarcoat anything and I often found myself reflecting on the topics they covered. The events of the last few years have truly angered me and at times I have been ashamed of the country I am supposed to love, but I am also fully aware of the fact that I don't have to face the same hatred and I don’t have the same fears that Black Americans do. This collection allowed me to walk a mile in Dr. McGowan’s shoes and to see things through the eyes of a strong Black woman, and while her words and the emotions they produced were effective in doing this, their raw honesty really stuck with me; I don't know how people can go out each day and face the hatred and the anger that comes their way simply because of the color of their skin. I cannot recommend I Am The Rage enough. I truly feel that people who read this brilliant collection will walk away with a better understanding of what members of the Black community face and how it affects them and this country. We can do better; we must do better. I Am The Rage is available now. Thank you to Dr. Martina McGowan, Diana Ejaita, Sourcebooks, and Goodreads for sending me a copy of I Am The Rage, given in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Minor

    On this day of all days, inauguration day, 20 January 2021, I feel extremely privileged to have received an advance copy of I am the Rage, a collection of poems by Dr. Martina McGowan. Sourcebooks will release the book in February 2021. I am pleased to be an early reviewer for Sourcebooks and EarlyReads. Dr. McGowan wears many hats: physician, author, poet, writer, mentor, artist, mother and grandmother. Her Website, https://martinamcgowan.com/about/, will inspire readers because of its positive On this day of all days, inauguration day, 20 January 2021, I feel extremely privileged to have received an advance copy of I am the Rage, a collection of poems by Dr. Martina McGowan. Sourcebooks will release the book in February 2021. I am pleased to be an early reviewer for Sourcebooks and EarlyReads. Dr. McGowan wears many hats: physician, author, poet, writer, mentor, artist, mother and grandmother. Her Website, https://martinamcgowan.com/about/, will inspire readers because of its positive statements and quotations. Dr. McGowan maintains a blog on her site and lists her personal goals for the blog. They are all excellent; the last one speaks most clearly to me: “I firmly believe that we are blessed so that we may be a blessing to someone else! We walk in the Light so that we may share the Light.” That line also echoes poet Amanda Gorman’s lines from today’s inaugural poem: "The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it – if only we are brave enough to be it." Dr. McGowan takes on hard subjects in the poems found in I am the Rage. The titles hint at the topics: “There is Too Little Time,” “Numb to the News,” and “Not Again.” While the poems are short, they pack a punch since Dr. McGowan does not hold back. “A New Song” asks, “What is the escape route from this labyrinth of animosity and remorse?” Another line also questions readers: “How do we find the pathway to a new story And stop the reiteration of the old?” Interspersed with the poems, readers will find silhouettes illustrating pertinent points. “Today I Cannot” gives readers this line: “Today I cannot/Paint in bright colors while the world is locked into struggles of/Black and Brown and Racism/Blue and Red.” The opposite page shows a picture in stark black and white to connect with the lines.

  18. 4 out of 5

    The Book Gawdess

    I received a free ARC and am leaving this review voluntarily... Growing up in the Caribbean meant that I am aware of the crisis which was slavery which directly affected my ancestors. However, growing up in the Caribbean meant that when slavery was abolished, white people became the minority. That does not mean that discrimination is not still present. However, the discrimination in the US is glaringly obvious for the world to see and as a black person with family members in the US, I'm scared ev I received a free ARC and am leaving this review voluntarily... Growing up in the Caribbean meant that I am aware of the crisis which was slavery which directly affected my ancestors. However, growing up in the Caribbean meant that when slavery was abolished, white people became the minority. That does not mean that discrimination is not still present. However, the discrimination in the US is glaringly obvious for the world to see and as a black person with family members in the US, I'm scared everyday. I Am The Rage encapsulated that feeling of helplessness so much black people feel in the US. That feeling that no matter what they say or do, they're always judged unfairly and can be killed just because of their skin color. In one of her poems, the author described an experience with the police with a white friend and I was so frustrated at how long it took for the friend to realize what happened. My favorite poem was Today I Cannot.... It expressed the futility of doing anything "normal" because of the fact that the author is black. Trying to constantly make sure her posture is suitable for everyone who looks at her as a "monster". I would definitely try more poetry by this author as her words are real and raw. She spoke her truth unapologetically and I loved it. I also would encourage teens and adults to read this book. Everybody should read this to get an idea of what Black America goes through everyday. In her words: Today I cannot stop thinking about Ahmaud (jogging) Breonna (sleeping) Steven (going to work) George (knelt upon) Chico (raising his hands in surrender) And the injustices we have all endured

  19. 5 out of 5

    itsnikhat

    I Am The Rage is a collection of poems which tell you a story on what it is to be alive in your Black identity in The United States of America. Every poem is an inspiration from real life events, mentions of cases which every American and probably even non-Americans are aware of now make an appearance. I’ve often read books which focus more on the last few decades, and while I always drew parallels with the present because things haven’t changed much, it was a sad experience to read a book born I Am The Rage is a collection of poems which tell you a story on what it is to be alive in your Black identity in The United States of America. Every poem is an inspiration from real life events, mentions of cases which every American and probably even non-Americans are aware of now make an appearance. I’ve often read books which focus more on the last few decades, and while I always drew parallels with the present because things haven’t changed much, it was a sad experience to read a book born out of oppression of present. The words in this are strong, they make you feel, they make you empathise, they make you rage, they make you want for a better future knowing that the mass radicalisation of the majority can never be undone by your hands alone. It’s a outlet of all the pain and anger. Anyone who stands for the rights of oppressed in any part of the world will be able to connect with this. A beautiful, heartbreaking ode to all the lived experiences of the Black community. I received this e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    what ila reads

    Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for my eARC in exchange for an honest review. This has been my first collection of poetry and I was blown away by the power of McGowan’s words: compelling, gut-wrenching and heartbreaking portrayal of America today. If you’re looking for a book that will give words when you don’t have any, when you look back at everything that happened last year a reflection of the past and hopefully not of the future, go look inside this collection. When my words and understa Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for my eARC in exchange for an honest review. This has been my first collection of poetry and I was blown away by the power of McGowan’s words: compelling, gut-wrenching and heartbreaking portrayal of America today. If you’re looking for a book that will give words when you don’t have any, when you look back at everything that happened last year a reflection of the past and hopefully not of the future, go look inside this collection. When my words and understanding fail me, I find them here. The truth is that as a white woman, living in Europe, I don’t know what it’s like and I’ll never know what it’s like to be black and discriminated against because of the colour of my skin. But one thing I can do is listen and try to amplify the voices of those who know, one thing I can do is learn from those who know, one thing I can do is try to protect those who know and fight alongside them. As I was reading this collection of poetry I tried writing down some of my favourite pieces, but I ended up with a very long list because they are all so good. So here’s a few of my favourite quotes: “A nation bathed in the idea that whiteness is superior” “Because someone must still be the lower caste” “So that we can continue with the detrimental obsession that rightness is whiteness” “A slave to what makes others feel comfortable”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annette Jordan

    I Am The Rage by Martina McGowan is a powerful, emotional and unforgettable collection. It is filled with an anger, pain and frustration that reflects the emotional state of so many People of Color, not just in the United States but around the globe. The words almost scream from the page, and the way in which they describe tragedies such as the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd hits home an incredibly visceral way , as do the poems which describe the less dramatic but more frequent daily I Am The Rage by Martina McGowan is a powerful, emotional and unforgettable collection. It is filled with an anger, pain and frustration that reflects the emotional state of so many People of Color, not just in the United States but around the globe. The words almost scream from the page, and the way in which they describe tragedies such as the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd hits home an incredibly visceral way , as do the poems which describe the less dramatic but more frequent daily difficulties that come with being Black in America. I recently read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and I found so many of the poems resonated with the way that book made me feel. The stark illustrations by Diana Ejaita were a pleasant surprise and worked well as a moment to pause and catch a breath between the poems. I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kt

    "America, something is wrong" This is so so powerful and necessary for everyone to read. McGowan is able to express the long term issues of race in America, she is able to talk wildly about it focusing on wide aspects but also on individual lives that most people would know from the media. "her light, brutally extinguished by the shadow/bent on destroying us all" This book of prose was highly emotive and like I said early crucial for everyone to understand how deep rooted this issue is in America "America, something is wrong" This is so so powerful and necessary for everyone to read. McGowan is able to express the long term issues of race in America, she is able to talk wildly about it focusing on wide aspects but also on individual lives that most people would know from the media. "her light, brutally extinguished by the shadow/bent on destroying us all" This book of prose was highly emotive and like I said early crucial for everyone to understand how deep rooted this issue is in American life. "There is little time to allow our children to be children" I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. This is my honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tamzen

    This book of poetry is beautiful. It is relevant, terrifying, heart-breaking, and eye-opening. If you are into emotional reads that will crack open the empathy within you, then you ought to read these poems. I'm not even sure how to describe it other than it captures the emotions of being Black in America today after years of things not getting better. The author writes of grief, fear, and anger, and the way she writes puts you right inside her mind and makes you feel so deeply. It's passionate This book of poetry is beautiful. It is relevant, terrifying, heart-breaking, and eye-opening. If you are into emotional reads that will crack open the empathy within you, then you ought to read these poems. I'm not even sure how to describe it other than it captures the emotions of being Black in America today after years of things not getting better. The author writes of grief, fear, and anger, and the way she writes puts you right inside her mind and makes you feel so deeply. It's passionate and wonderful, with visual language that envelops you. Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    RyReads

    America, once again, has civil and racial unrest with protestors flooding our cities, calling for justice for all, with people being detained, brutalized, and murdered on the streets, as well as their homes, without the benefit of due process. So begins this collection of poetry from Dr. Martina McGowan. This collection of poetry is about 100 pages and contains beautiful black and white illustrations to accompany the poems about racial inequality in America. Thank you, Goodreads for the free cop America, once again, has civil and racial unrest with protestors flooding our cities, calling for justice for all, with people being detained, brutalized, and murdered on the streets, as well as their homes, without the benefit of due process. So begins this collection of poetry from Dr. Martina McGowan. This collection of poetry is about 100 pages and contains beautiful black and white illustrations to accompany the poems about racial inequality in America. Thank you, Goodreads for the free copy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    eindra lin

    this is an incredibly important and heartbreaking collection. there is not much to say about these poems except that: everybody should be reading this. mcgowan effortlessly expresses a long-standing history that has been recently amplified but is not new by any means. personally, i am not fan of the style of mcgowan's writing; i find it a bit too straightforward and prose-like for my taste BUT this is an instance in which the weight and importance of WHAT she is saying overrides any complaint ab this is an incredibly important and heartbreaking collection. there is not much to say about these poems except that: everybody should be reading this. mcgowan effortlessly expresses a long-standing history that has been recently amplified but is not new by any means. personally, i am not fan of the style of mcgowan's writing; i find it a bit too straightforward and prose-like for my taste BUT this is an instance in which the weight and importance of WHAT she is saying overrides any complaint about style. i think it's actually great that it is written so straightforward because i feel this is something that should be read by everyone, and her writing makes her poetry accessible to people who might not be big poetry readers. overall, this was a great and timely read, one that i believe should be read and experienced by everyone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    This was a stunning poetry collection about the black experience in modern America. I could not put it down, and read it all in one sitting. Dr. McGowan's reflections are brutally honest and occasionally uncomfortable. She reflects on fear and victims of police brutality, generational trauma, and the continuing racism in America. This is a must read filled with beautiful writing and images to go with. This was a stunning poetry collection about the black experience in modern America. I could not put it down, and read it all in one sitting. Dr. McGowan's reflections are brutally honest and occasionally uncomfortable. She reflects on fear and victims of police brutality, generational trauma, and the continuing racism in America. This is a must read filled with beautiful writing and images to go with.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Shaw

    This is an powerful collection exploring racial injustice and its effects at different scales, from the individual to the national. I appreciated McGowan's calling out of white "allies" and the ephemeral nature of that so-called allyship. This is a humbling, eye-opening read and a call to action. This is an powerful collection exploring racial injustice and its effects at different scales, from the individual to the national. I appreciated McGowan's calling out of white "allies" and the ephemeral nature of that so-called allyship. This is a humbling, eye-opening read and a call to action.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy

    This book of poetry is beautifully empowering, yet heartbreaking at the same time. I was particularly touched by “Human Enough”. I thank Dr. McGowan for sharing her perspective and experiences for the world to read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Esty

    "Today I cannot Paint in bright colours while the world is locked into struggles of Black and Brown and Racism Blue and Red Nor write the tortured verses of Haiku, Without mentioning the black and blue hues of my pain" devoured this poetry and my heart wept and wept in hopes for a better future. "Today I cannot Paint in bright colours while the world is locked into struggles of Black and Brown and Racism Blue and Red Nor write the tortured verses of Haiku, Without mentioning the black and blue hues of my pain" devoured this poetry and my heart wept and wept in hopes for a better future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    A humbling and eye-opening read that is both beautiful and raw. I believe this is necessary reading for one and all. I was particularly moved by Benediction Number 9, Human Enough, and What Sadness We Carry in Ordinary Times. *Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing me with a free digital copy.

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