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How to Cure a Ghost: Fariha Róisín

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She seeks to re-educate throughout, such as in ‘what 9/11 did to us’ – 2,976 Americans died that day. Her hope is that “the more honest we are with our bodies and our own limitations, the more accepting we become of difference. Some of these poems are quite lovely, and I appreciate the poem about The Keepers, as my own family has suffered sexual abuse from the Catholic Church, but rather than rising above such stereotypes she embraces them, covering her contempt for another culture by claiming discrimination against her own. Róisín is an Australian-Canadian living in Brooklyn, and a lot of her writing explores the theme of identity and intersectionality – she’s a queer Muslim, she’s a woman of colour, and she’s a survivor. A few poems are touching, and deep - I especially enjoyed those in which she talked about her relationship with her own faith.

This is just such a bold and brilliant collection, that explores so much and the writing flows really well too. If Fariha Roisin does not want to be judged for how she looks than she needs to work on not judging others by the same stereotypes. I can't dive deeper into the meaning of the poems because they feel as a way to deal with her own trauma and feelings, and it feels wrong to rate them when I have not shared similar experiences. This journal is a conversation starter on how to talk about what ails us only with our bodies so that we can start (finally, collectively) moving towards self love and acceptance on a holistic global level. Fariha Róisín uses her poems as a way to speak about what it’s like to navigate the terrain of colonialism in a brown, queer, Muslim body.A lot of it hit me really hard—Fariha Roisin is not afraid to pack a punch, but there are also some really beautiful poems about self-love and empowerment. It’s a beautiful book full of brilliantly written poems that speak volumes to both your heart and soul. Blaming the "bad white folk" is the same type of discrimination that Roisin herself rails against in this book.

Simultaneously, this compilation unpacks the contentious relationship that exists between Róisín and her mother, her platonic and romantic heartbreaks, and the cognitive dissonance felt as a result of being so divided among her broad spectrum of identities. It is also a collection that I have gifted because of how beautifully it is written and put together. It's about the abuse enacted by mothers, while considering the history of that abuse; it's about the psychological torture of being talked about but never heard, of not knowing the sound of our own voices because of how long it's been drowned out by others, it's about a deep empathy and respect for abusive parents who have survived so much that you'll never have to go through. To be completely honest, so far I find myself finding bits and pieces of her works that are really nice; complimentary in a way.

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I can only hope the author was able to forgive those who wronged her and heal her generational trauma. i have read and enjoyed a few poetry collections over the last few years but this one certainly does stand out in the crowd. I found her writing to be raw, but also soft enough to gently draw out the words into a series of beautiful poems. The “ghost” she attempts to cure stands for many things: white supremacy, her mother, the patriarchy, Islamophobia, unkindness, her ancestors… Ultimately, it’s a book about survival, dedicated to survivors.Roisin's] writing is intensely vulnerable and through revealing her own experience she reflects so many others. It explores shame, ancestral trauma and violence—weaving in Róisin’s personal experience of abuse at the hands of her mother, while also being trapped in a body, time and era where she’s being forced to confront the many things that have haunted her. How to cure a Ghost is left me feeling very ambivalent, some poems gave me goosebumps, they felt true and vulnerable and strong while some others felt like they were written by a 13 year old angry person on tumblr. Being In Your Body (Abrams, 2019) is a journal for women, femmes and non-binary folks to work through body dysmorphia.

I cannot rate someone's life experiences, but I can rate their poetic language, arrangement, sensitivity, since all of them are publicly open. In this truly stunning guided journal, Róisín addresses ableism, thin privilege, fatphobia, white privilege, and more, using empowering quotes and prompts to encourage you to appreciate the changes your body has gone through, explore beauty standards and ideals, reinforce self-confidence, and, ultimately, become the best version of yourself. A poetry compilation recounting a woman's journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance, confusion to clarity, and bitterness to forgiveness. She’s also a pop culture fiend, casually dropping references to Heathers, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter in amongst verses dealing with abortion, Islamophobia, and abuse.I feel that if this were more condensed, without the filler tumblr-esque poetry, it would be a true gem. My favorites were “Golden Lube,” “Mansplain Nation,” “Rumi,” “This One’s with Teeth,” “What 9/11 Did to Us,” and “Belonging. I really hate being so judgmental about poetry because I’m sure this really means something to the poet, but it’s so disheartening to read poetry like this that has no understanding or appreciation of form or rhythm. The struggles she faced as a queer, young Muslim woman puts into focus the parallel strife of the everyday brown woman. though some poems were very personal (i particularly liked “rumi” and “self portraiture”), the entirety of the book was distancing, and began to feel repetitive for me at around 30%.

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