As the title suggests, poet-painter Jennifer Hosein’s A Map of Rain Days conjures loss and despair. Her paintings and sketches at the start of each section portray a woman turned inward, her back to the world. Her collection is an unflinching evocation of the physical and emotional violence men can do to women under the pretext of love. Her poems, that describe the wounds inflicted by racism, are also visceral and visual. However, Hosein’s love for her mother and daughter shines through even the bleakest of her poems.
In Standing in the Flock of Connections, Heather Cadsby’s original associations cascade through poems about the natural world and human relationships. Cadsby plays with links between thought and language with a heightened awareness of upsets and obsessions as well as her own poetic process. Poems in the final section of the book suggest that Cadsby’s musing about her process is linked to fear of losing it. Yet even with this fear, Cadsby is playful, making this collection a delightful read.