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Reading List April 01, 2021

Poetry Collection: Belonging

The first in our series of reading lists to celebrate National Poetry Month 2021.
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Editor’s Note: This is the first collection in Boston Review’s series of poetry reading lists for National Poetry Month 2021. You can read the others on empathy, womanhood, and award-winning poets

Boston Review has long believed in the power of art to provide crucial insight into how individuals and communities process the most troubling moments in history. Poetry and fiction can offer a respite from the incessant crush of the news cycle, illuminating the humanity behind the statistics and the visceral impacts of structural inequality. While these poems inhabit different landscapes, all of these poets in some way grapple with the question of belonging—an ever-present but increasingly urgent question while the country remains in the grip of a world-historical pandemic and begins a new presidency.

Among the thought-provoking and moving work in this selection, we have celebrated author Kiese Laymon’s prose poem “And Blue,” which embodies Black love in the face of terror, and poet and academic Naomi Extra’s two poems which explore the meaning of safety within the female body. Elsewhere, writers consider the inheritance of pain, naming and generational loss, racialized violence and remembrance, and more.

—Meghana Mysore

Poetry
Kiese Laymon Poetry
Kiese Laymon
Sadia Hassan Poetry
Sadia Hassan
Tomas Morin Poetry
Tomás Q. Morín
Bryce Emley Poetry
Bryce Emley
RBrown Poetry
Precious Arinze Poetry
Precious Arinze
Opal Moore 2 Poetry

Our weekly themed reading lists present the best of Boston Review’s archive and get emailed to members every Sunday, and sometimes make their way to our website too. Become a member to receive them ahead of the crowd.

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