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The Fat Black Woman's Poems: From the winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2021 (Virago Poets)

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Growing up on the south side of Chicago, Sesali Bowen learned early on how to hustle, stay on her toes, and champion other Black women and femmes as she navigated Blackness, queerness, fatness, friendship, poverty, sex work, and self-love. Here in the present ocean of this essay are massive philosophical ideas about aesthetics and the appreciation of art – ideas that have carried on from Aristotle to Hegel to Kant, back and forth questions of whether beauty is inherent or socially constructed, on whether aesthetics as a discipline belongs to the sciences or to philosophy?

In those different areas the book is further separated into different portions of her life that impacted the person she is now. OVERALL: It is a short/thin, accessible book, which would be good for those starting to explore poetry as well as poetry-lovers.There are sounds that often attend death in the Caribbean – loud sounds – and to her own ears, these sounds are beautiful. Thus, she coined Trap Feminism, a contemporary framework that interrogates where feminism and hip-hop intersect.

Her 'fat black woman' is brash; rejoices in herself; poses awkward questions to politicians, rulers, suitors. I had become a poet without flailing hands because those hands needed to hold on to the books that I was reading from. Celebrating five decades of the feminist publisher, each of the Five Gold Reads represents an iconic moment in Virago's history, from the 1970s to today.

It was the first time I hadn’t done all the work of planning a vacation myself, but I really needed the help because I was overwhelmed about where we would not only BE safe but FEEL safe. But Grace Nichols’s character and co-author, triply othered – fat and black and female – stands as Everyman’s antithesis. Thankfully, therapy has helped unpack weight I should not have to carry, and traveling is now something I look forward to. The Fat Black Woman privileges excess – though even this word ‘excess’ might be problematic for the Fat Black Woman. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged.

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