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Tidal Wave by Kofi Antwi

Source: GBF
Paperback, 18 pgs.
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Tidal Wave by Kofi Antwi is a slim chapbook that explores themes of identity and the drowned out voices of society. The art work is superb — the cover itself speaks to the power of words in this collection as they rise like a tidal wave.

The opening poem “Out of the Wreckage” sets the stage of loss, with a brother gone and “a belated shower/of roses” — signifying a posthumous recognition of a wrong done to the departed, but it comes too little too late. It mirrors the recent reactions of society when racially charged killings by police occur against Black men across America and as a society we only rise up after the fact before the anger/rage fades and little is done to correct the system.

 from "Sundays" (pg. 6)

the harbor is burdened land, tampered
sea - a ripple in the
current halts it's viability.

at bay we, mourn our past, balance
tomorrow's deficiencies,
dashes of mint dove

Antwi’s poems are mournful but full of hope, a dichotomy that mirrors the society that welcomes all to be free without actual freedom to be themselves. We are burdened by the past and mourn it, but we continue to move forward to balance the good with the bad. However, some of these poems feel rough and unfinished, like there’s something hidden beneath the emptiness and the words chosen haven’t carried the full meaning the poet wishes to convey. This could be intentional, but it didn’t work for me in many instances.

But the strongest poems in the chapbook come at the end from “all hail the city of doom” and “tidal wave” to “birth into a nation” and “recollections of the Gold Coast.” This is where Tidal Wave by Kofi Antwi shines in its analysis of what it means to be an American immigrant full of hope but stepped on and cast aside as a silent minority while chasing an American dream.

RATING: Tercet

Mailbox Monday #615

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Emma Lou, the Yorkie Poo: Alphabet Feelings and Friends by Kim Larkins, which I receive for review from the publisher.

Emma Lou and Pearl return with some old and new friends in Emma Lou the Yorkie Poo: Alphabet, Feelings and Friends. Join them as they experience, through a collection of whimsical rhymes, a wide range of emotions. From A to Z, Emma Lou and Pearl invite children to bring emotions to life and provide reassurance that all feelings are expected and accepted.

To cope with our changing world during this vulnerable time in our history, children now more than ever need to feel free to express their fears, worries and joys. Alphabet, Feelings and Friends is a resource for parents, educators and mental health workers to assist children in developing meaningful discussions and insight into their present experiences.

Lost But Found: A Boy’s Story of Grief and Recovery by Laura Persons, illustrated by Noah Hrbek, which I receive for review from the publisher.

Lost But Found: A Boy’s Story of Grief and Recovery deals with one of the toughest issues a parent may ever have to face-explaining to a child that a loved one has died. Often, to protect them, parents leave children out of the grieving process. This book allows adults to travel with a young boy as he works to make sense of his loss-and, in turn, their own.

I wrote this book to allow children to ask questions and talk about their fears and feelings. What I have found is that often children have better insights on these hard life questions than the adults in the room!

En Route by Jesse Wolfe for review.

In this debut poetry collection, Jesse Wolfe meditates on the journeys that carry us through life. In sections that focus on individuals, couples, and families, Wolfe employs a range of speakers and characters: male and female, young and old, wealthy and poor. Some have a clear sense of where they’re going, while others feel cast adrift; some reach back into their memories or look toward the future, while others seek an expansive present moment; some find peace and at-one-ment, while others remain in quandaries. Taken together, they offer a mosaic of consciousness, as people strive and introspect, suffer and heal, each of them en route through their overlapping stories.

Tidal Wave by Kofi Antwi for review.

Tidal Wave speaks to the interconnectedness that explores an aesthetic of abstract art. The use of ‘we’ in Tidal Wave fortifies the merge of collective voices. Akin to the community that harvest a forgotten borough, Tidal Wave emerges returning the objective placement of rhythmic science, as language is reimagined through poetic expressions. Tidal Wave explores identity, the visceral display of subconscious ramifications — bending the abstract ploy of truth. The writing encompasses a lyrical approach as it breaks free from conventional forms.

The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Susan B. Katz, which I purchased.

In this chapter book for kids ages 6-9, you’ll learn about how Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the second woman ever to serve as a judge on the Supreme Court of the United States. Before she fought for equal rights and made history, Ruth was a curious kid who loved to read about strong women who were making important changes. You can get inspired, too, with this unique standout among Ruth Bader Ginsburg children’s books for grades 1-2.

In school, Ruth wished girls could have as many opportunities as boys. She soon learned that by studying and working hard, she could change her life―and the world. Of all the Ruth Bader Ginsburg children’s books, this one really lets you explore how she went from a Jewish girl during World War II to one of the most celebrated leaders in America.

Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes, Too!): The Ultimate Puberty by Sonya Renee Taylor and Bianca I. Laureano

Puberty can be a difficult time for a young girl―and it’s natural not to know who (or what) to ask. Celebrate Your Body is a reassuring entry into puberty books for girls that encourages girls to face puberty with excitement and empowerment. From period care to mysterious hair in new places, this age-appropriate sex education book has the answers you’re looking for―in a way you can relate to.

Covering everything from bras to braces, this body-positive top choice in books about puberty for girls offers friendly guidance and support when you need it most. In addition to tips on managing intense feelings, making friends, and more, you’ll get advice on what to eat and how to exercise so your body is healthy, happy, and ready for the changes ahead.

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Alexander Nabaum, which I purchased.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

Talking about boogers.
Stealing pocket change.
Skateboarding.
Wiping out.
Braving up.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
Making jokes.
Lotioning up.
Finding comfort.
But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.

What did you receive?