Poetry & Pain

Guest Post by Padmaja Reddy.

There seems to be a connection between poetry and pain. Kendra Allen’s “The Collection Plate” is no exception. Her poetry is surely driven with pain and ache.

Poems carved with passion, agony, and anguish reveal the experiences and emotions of Black lives. Her bold and demanding tone emerges powerful with apt phrases and genuine craft.

Sentimental expressions like: “A family name can mean something; that way we can share the same death bed, that way I work for cheap . . . and request to forget mornings . . . ,” “digging her dynasty out of me so she can save it . . . ,” and “Yet I still don’t know the difference between pleasure and penetration” certainly leave a solid impact on the reader.

My favorite poems are “Solace by Earl,” “I am the note Held Towards the End,” “Gifting back Barn and Bread,” and “I come to You as Humbly as I Know.”


The Collection Plate by Kendra Allen. Ecco Press, July 2021.

Reviewer bio: Padmaja Reddy, originally from India, lives in Connecticut. She received an MA in English Literature from SK University. Former journalist and she published poetry and book reviews in various publications like Yale Review of Books, Amazon.

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