***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley and Astra House in exchange for an honest review. I have not received compensation for the inclusion of any links for purchase found in this review or on any other page of The Voracious Bibliophile which mentions Broken Halves of a Milky Sun: Poems, its creator, or its publisher.***
In their daring and evocative debut, Aaiún Nin leaves absolutely nothing left unsaid. Theirs is a fiercely political poetics which centers the Black Queer experience and names the many violences committed by Western governments in the name of Christianity, “progress”, and the status quo. Where other writers would dance on the line between truthful testimony and placating respectability, most likely due to a reflexive need for self-preservation, Nin forges a path of their own through a tangled web of desire, trauma, history, and their personal immigrant experience—in their case, one that has been rife with racism, homophobia, and other intersecting axes of oppression.
What Nin refuses to do in Broken Halves of a Milky Sun is cater to an audience that would never listen to them anyway, at least not in any substantive or constructive way. In fact, they anticipate the not all men and not all white people responses and throw it back in the faces of their would-be detractors. This is not a space for the oppressors to have a say. Sit down. They are not accepting questions or comments at this time.
So moved was I by the poems in this collection that when I made it to the end, breathless and aching, only one response would suffice: Amen.
Broken Halves of a Milky Sun: Poems was published by Astra House on February 1st, 2022 and is available to purchase wherever books are sold.
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