By Uhuru Phalafala
The release of Koleka Putuma’s debut collection Collective Amnesia officially positions her within an ongoing global feminist dialogue with black female poets who utilise poetry as a vehicle to confront their particularised oppressions as women of colour. These young writers, be it Somalian Warsan Shire, Indian Rupi Kaur, Sudanese Safia Elhillo, or Jamaican Yrsa Daley-Ward, create new worlds using the magical power of language. Whether it’s Rupi Kaur speaking our truth in her poem “Women of Colour”, which proclaims: “our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry”; or Warsan Shire’s “In love and In war”, which forewarns: “To my daughter I will say, ‘when the men come, set yourself on fire’”, their searing words give us courage to attend to our own wounds.
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