4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE
Roshni Goyate, Sharan Hunjan, Sheena Patel & Sunnah Khan
Rough Trade Books
For a little while now Sunnah Khan, Sheena Patel, Sharan Hunjan & Roshni Goyate have been working together in a closely knit, loose poetry collective, 4 Brown Girls Who Write. Like a motorcycle gang, showing up at your favourite poetry evening and tearing it up. Bringing it to life. They are rockstars. Imagine if Loose Women was fronted by real people who talked in rhyme about your life and your neighbourhood? See where they are going with this. This is the girl gang you really want to join. But first you're gonna have to ditch your GCSE poetry manuals (are they still a thing?) and get real with your prose.
Rough Trade Books, who get to do a lot of the things we'd like to do if we weren't so lazy, have put together a plush - though not necessarily for more dedicated plushies - collection from the collective and it is out now. What you get is four individual Rough Trade Books, Shadow Work by Roshni Goyate, Hatch by Sharan Hunjan, Sheena Patel's This Is What Love Is and Sunnah Khan's I Don’t Know How to Forgive You When You Make No Apology For This Haunting, all bound up in a beautifully designed container.
RT says "[4 Brown Girls Who Write] bring their radical, polyphonic performance style to bear on a series of individual pamphlets that still resonate with their collaborative force. Each author’s discreet publication is a stand-alone work, published as a set of poetry and prose pamphlets, highlighting the daring, brilliant writing that characterises both the group and each individual author." I can't put it better than that.
What I've seen is great, and puts me in mind of the american poets like Jamila Woods and Noname, particularly those lovely asides between the tracks on Jamila Woods' first LP, or...oh well, but then I am ancient, and whiter than most every white person I know, and too tired to be too curious, so how would I know better? This country is not making it easy for me.
Here's a quote from one of The 4, Roshni Goyate, from an interview on the poetical website “We give each other validity and truth. Especially when you are a woman of colour and when you write within the margins, that validity is really important. To have this collective, and to have this sisterhood, has just been so supportive.”
What you'll find here is important work, significant for who the voices are, you know why, and those other, other important things, provokative and entertaining, otherwise why would it even matter, when it does so very much.
The complete Poetical.co.uk interview with all 4 Brown Girls Who write, is right here.
4 Brown Girls Who Write is available now from Rough Trade Books, and is keenly priced which is important, you can find it on the Rough Trade website, here.
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