Not A Monolith

poems and musings of a black woman

Poetry - General
98 Pages
Reviewed on 04/27/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Immerse yourself in an enthralling collection of poems and intimate musings with Not A Monolith. Penned by Shantasha Naomi Laing, this captivating poetry collection contains four parts. Each part focuses on different themes, encompassing diverse topics, including love, yearning, pain, suffering, patriarchy, capitalism, Black representation and empowerment, and more. Using free verse, Laing delivers an introspective collection that gives readers plenty to think about. In 'Heart Scars,' the narrator speaks about heartbreak and the vestiges of a broken relationship. 'Naïveté' is a moving poem about unrequited love. 'Life in the In-Betweens' celebrates the mundane moments of tranquility in one's life. In 'Journey Beyond Self,' the narrator expresses the struggle to overcome trauma and depression. 'Growing as Other' is a powerful poem about the experiences of growing up as a young Black girl in America.

Drawing upon her own life experiences, Shantasha Naomi Laing gifts poetry readers a gem of a collection. Not A Monolith touches upon a broad spectrum of ideas and themes, with a powerful underlying narrative propelled by personal experiences and observations of life and modern society in general. The author does a phenomenal job of incorporating relevant social issues into her verses with a poetic flair that is refreshing and distinctly authentic. While many of the poems are intimate and personal, the larger narrative focus is on universal issues, such as community, the impact of capitalism, systematic racism, and much more. As a reader, you will want to revisit these poems after you've finished the book. If you enjoy confessional and observational poetry, I can't recommend this book highly enough.