Published last year, Every Watering Word is an extraordinary collection of profound poetry exploring motherhood, femininity, blackness, Christianity, relationships, gender dynamics and more. We review the debut book of poems by Tanya Manning-Yarde, a writer hailing from the Big Apple, New York City.
All the poems in Every Watering Word vary in length and style, but the one common theme is the sincerity of the writing, even when the themes are difficult to digest.
As well as being a writer, Manning-Yarde was an educator in her hometown, and has worked as a Copy Editor and Writer for Bronze Magazine, a platform celebrating women of colour. Her poetry has also been published in a range of mediums such as Memory House and Literary Mama.
The poetry leaves much food for thought and divided into five chapters, the 40+ poems will have all literary fiends impressed and then eager to hear it read aloud at a cool spot in *inserts city*. I can’t yet say which poem is my favourite, but I will leave you with some gems that really stuck with me.
In the chapter Women Warriors, the poem A Mecca of Stretch Marks
So many rivers/are
transporting from my stomach,
rimming my pelvis,
anchoring my thighs/that
I should not
think myself less
than being a delta
In the chapter Across Broken Mirrors the poem News at 4,5,6:30 and 11
Nightly, local and national news makes its pilgrimage
into our living rooms, perforating hearts into swiss cheese so the truth always falls out.
Baltimore. Chicago. Detroit. Los Angeles. New York.
But the usual story.
Black assailant…male…seen fleeing…
no need to finish the sentence.
Tanya describes her book: “This collection of poetry is an ensemble of many themes. It encompasses poetic rumination about women’s self-discovery; stories about coming of age; explorations of sex, sensuality and eroticism; epiphanies gleaned from motherhood and marriage; the structure and impact of racial and gender oppression; the trials, tribulations and triumphs experienced by love; the inheritance of jazz music and honouring the Black Christian tradition while exploring underlying tensions.”
Tanya Manning-Yarde is a talented poet, who connects words effortlessly and broaches her poetry with rawness and such honesty. Every Watering Word was a joy to read and will certainly be enjoyed by all poetry lovers.
Buy Every Watering Word, here.