Month: February 2021
While I don’t get into the more triggering material in this review, the arrival of rain includes material about war, gun violence, child death, parental abandonment, semi-explicit sexual scenes, references to assault and racism.
It’s been a while since I got this particular book of poetry, but the anecdote around me getting it is still worth sharing. Adedayo Agarau shared a piece of poetry from it and linked the purchase link for the arrival of rain, which was retweeted onto my timeline, and – well, I love poetry, and I know that when I see something that grabs at me IMMEDIATELY, I want to buy the book. So I went to buy it.
And found out that it did not ship to Canada.
I usually don’t stress too much about this. It’s annoying, sure. But this time around, I actually went to the trouble of getting a friend to buy it and ship it up to Canada for me, because I WANTED this book! (Thank you very much to the friend in question, haha.) I was well rewarded, because the arrival of rain is phenomenally gorgeous. Agarau’s poetry is heavily visual and imagistic, criss-crossing religious concepts with those of the body and trauma, grief howling behind free verse.
It’s hard to pick out favourite poems. Each functions as a snapshot (some are actually titled as portraits) but a few definitely stick out. “i will one day grow to love you with my presence” is a standout (see quote below),
i am still the screamer & the voice. the echo that never made it home. i am still the shadow of a whole body or perhaps, the song dying along the pews of the cathedral. i am still the one with a pungent mouth. do not remind me that i am from a lineage of men who do not wait.“i will one day grow to love you with my presence”, adedayo agarau, the arrival of rain pg.21
Visually, the book is also a treat. With a gorgeous and lush cover and a typeface that feels both readable (for me, anyway; I can’t comment on readability for others) and artful, it’s worth owning! I also really appreciate Agarau’s use of slashes and backslashes to shape his words, making every paragraph, period, etc. very deliberate on the page. Some imagist poetry can feel gimmicky (it’s a poem about a bird, in the shape of a bird!) but the imagism here is more abstract, more about the flow of each word to the next.
the arrival of rain is published by vegetarian alcoholic press; check it out over here!
An excerpt from “the wooden cross is enough prayer” is used as an epigraph in Ghosts in Quicksilver: Book Two: Sulfur, with permission from Adedayo Agarau.
Hello everyone! Preorders for Book Two: Sulfur are officially open – woohoo! The preorder period runs from February 10th to April 15th. Book Three will then start posting on May 1st! (I originally said April, but April is turning out to be a hell month. In the best way, but still.) The initial announcement was over here, by RJ Sorrento. The cover, also displayed below, is by the amazing María J. Rozas, who also did the cover for Book One!
There are two preorder sets available. The first one, for just Book Two itself, is here! You get the paperback for Book Two: Sulfur, the ebook, stickers, and a bonus preorder story. The preorder story for Book Two is about Isaiah Persad and Mrs. Chaudhury, in a little moment aside from the main story.
The second preorder set is great for new readers! For a special price, you get the paperbacks for both Book One and Two, as well as both preorder stories. The story for Book One is from Johara’s perspective prior to the series.
Important note – the above isn’t the only way to now get paperbacks of Book One, but it is the cheapest. After preorders close, Book One paperbacks will (hopefully) be restocked in the store; it depends on what sells, since so much relies on minimum orders from the printer, but you get a lot more bang for your buck getting both books together. If you’re uncertain about diving into the series, ebooks for the series will always be pay-what-you-want over at Payhip or available to read online here or AO3; the downloadable version of Book One is over here.
And FINALLY, here is a list of content warnings for Book Two. I will also be compiling a list for Book One and for the series as a whole to put on the series page, but this is for people to know what they’re getting into.
Child sexual abuse (discussed/backstory)
Domestic violence and murder (discussed/backstory)
Dissociation, mental illness, PTSD flashbacks, etc.
Racism (particularly internalized and effects of, dynamics called out)**
Institutional/psychiatric abuse and racism
Psychosis, unreality/hallucinations, delusions
Car crashes (backstory/trigger)
Queerphobia/lesbophobia (backstory/impact of in present)
Queer/leftist community infighting