Plantains and Our Becoming: Poems

Tiny Reparations. Aug. 2023. 160p. ISBN 9780593471340. pap. $17. POETRY
Marte’s debut collection is a powerful tribute to Black Latina life in the United States, detailing all the grief and joy that encompasses. The collection includes deeply personal tributes and stories about Marte’s family while expanding to broader cultural perspectives; the second section, titled “A History of Plantains,” begins with a poem that outlines the history of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Of the Dominican Republic, the poet observers: “Many of its descendants have been displaced by a crooked history. One/ that told us we were once slaves instead of enslaved. One that told us we/ were products of strife instead of greed.” Throughout, an amazing sense of pride and confidence radiates off the pages: “Loud like opulence is her last name,” proclaims one poem; “I learned confidence from Mami./ I learned to take up space and mean it.” Odes to Toni Morrison, Cardi B, Meghan Thee Stallion and Tina Knowles, among others, enhance the theme of Black excellence.
VERDICT Deeply moving and personal while also celebrating Black Latina history and informing readers urgently needing to be educated, Marte’s book is a wonderful addition to any collection.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing