These chapbooks are substantial beyond their size. Both debuts, they consider thedomestic and explore women’s place in it from very different starting-points and with unique voices.
Rehema Njambi is a Kenyan-born, British-raised performance poet who celebrates the Black, mostly African women around her and from whom she is descended. She is acutely aware of home’s patriarchal context:’My mother’s joy is tied to the ground…Our fathers handed belonging to their sons,/gave away their daughters’ (‘A Piece of Land’).
The opening poem, ‘All These Truths You Never Set Free’, speaks to the guilt awriter/survivor feels towards her female ancestors: ‘I reach for the pen and I remember/that you wanted this for yourself./This selfishness of pen and paper and solitude’.Yetpoem after poem evokes how precarious a woman’s position has always been at the heart ofhome and family:
Every haven you have ever found
was only lent to you.
Even now you abide in…
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