The Merchant of Feathers-Poems for Thought.
In her second collection, Tanya Shirley presents poems that are almost tangible. Poems that you feel as you read; they wrap around and through you, pulling at you, making sure you witness the pain, guilt, pleasures and joy.
Some are lyrical, others poignant, and some read as social commentary but never come across as preachy. They examine a society that is in certain places and spaces broken, failing children, homophobia, the complexity of women, and the misogyny that often permeates most societies. However, some give us hope, as they depict resilience and strength.
Favourites like 'Recompense', 'Matie Shall Not Conquer', 'What Words Can Do', 'Said by a DJ at an Uptown Dance', 'The Merchant of Feathers II', 'Teaching Jane Eyre', 'Grace' and 'Said by a DJ at a Downtown Dance' shows how very rooted Tanya Shirley is in her te culture of her country. Each poem speaks to how very influenced she is by the history and current atmosphere of this land we love, this island called Jamaica.
This is a collection of poetry that declares this poet knows her country, a poet that is aware of the different spaces of her country, and how they leave indelible marks on each and every one of us. In the end, A Merchant of Feathers comprises poems that are real, dripping with fantasy as well as reality. A collection that most deeply reflects how complex home is. #JamaicasLiteraryHeritage.