calling in black by Nicholle Ramsey

calling in blackcalling in black by Nicholle Ramsey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Calling in Black was the realest and rawest poetry collection I think I have ever read, You read poems about mental health, but something about this feels extra honest and authentic. Nicholle Ramsey is naked in a way that’s more than one of those body positivity posts you might see on Instagram. You see every fold blemish, and hair. There is nowhere to hide. The cover featuring the naked Black woman aptly encapsulates this concept.

I really resonated with these poems. Some of my favorite poems were Jean, Sometimes, and, of course, Calling in Black. Even though I don’t have the same mental health struggles, I felt seen in a way I was not expecting. From the very first poem I felt this way. I loved that Ramsey framed most of her poems in a way that shows others how to love someone struggling with mental health. She i sable to have both the person struggling and their loved ones feel seen. Feeling seen is the highest complement I can give this collection because this is the closest and strongest phrase I could use to try to describe my experience with this book.

The illustrations were also a really nice touch. I love the poetry and line drawing combination. In contrast to someone like Rupi Kaur with her short, simple poems paired with her small and simple line drawings, both the drawings and poems have more complexity to them. They unapologetically take up space. Lukas Ramsey did a great job.

I would definitely recommend this poetry collection, especially to Black women.

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