All Aboard the ARC: The Collection Plate: Poems (Audiobook) by Kendra Adams

***Note: I received a digital review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

I try my best to keep up with fresh new voices in the world of poetry. I like work that sidles up next to you and punches you in the face when you’re least expecting it, and Kendra Allen does exactly that. The Collection Plate covers so much ground in so limited a frame, one could almost call Allen a magician. Herein lies poems (songs? psalms?) exploring Black girlhood/womanhood, religion (its redemption(s) as well as its confines and strictures), sexual politics, family history, the tyranny of memory, and the line(age)s we cross when we decide who we’re going to be.

Herein lies poems (songs? psalms?) exploring Black girlhood/womanhood, religion (its redemption(s) as well as its confines and strictures), sexual politics, family history, the tyranny of memory, and the line(age)s we cross when we decide who we’re going to be.

the pastor is our uncle and our uncle di- / vests me of my volition / back on land / I drip / I dribble, I cough up / who I shoulda been

From “Evening service”

How does one even begin to analyze works this explosive? Poets don’t often compare religious ceremonies, in this case baptism, to a divestiture of one’s own free will, but Allen does so with aplomb and an assuredness that rings true for anyone familiar with charismatic faith traditions.

Poets don’t often compare religious ceremonies, in this case baptism, to a divestiture of one’s own free will, but Allen does so with aplomb and an assuredness that rings true for anyone familiar with charismatic faith traditions.

I don’t want to distract from the beauty of this collection with an overabundance of my own commentary, so I’ll just leave it with you like this: I’ve already bought my own copy so I can read it again and again. And again.

The Collection Plate: Poems is now available to order wherever books are sold. You can follow Kendra Allen on Twitter @kendracanyou.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

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