Black Genealogy: Poems

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Black Genealogy by Kiki Petrosino and illustrated by Lauren Haldeman is a simple and touching chapbook exploring the emotional impact of the broken genealogy black people in America experience. It lays out the bare, hard truth of slavery on family history and how the effects of the master/slave dynamic are felt in their lives even today.

Petrosino’s poetry is beautiful in its spare nature, the unadorned truth sitting in blocks on the page, interrupted at turns with an almost graphic-novel style of poem illustrated by Haldeman in a simple and coarse fashion to match the content and tone of the words. It is a short work of poetry, yet I felt its brevity worked to its advantage; there weren’t any flowery, lengthy preludes or obscuring metaphors. The hard realities are set out lyrically for the reader to engage with and left me with a feeling of melancholy and a greater appreciation for yet another aspect of being black in America and how much harder it can be.

Reviewed By:

Author Kiki Petrosino • Lauren Haldeman, Illustrator
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 44 pages
Publisher Brain Mill Press
Publish Date 2017-Nov-28
ISBN 9781942083733 Buy this Book
Issue March 2018
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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