Teresa Fowler is snappy, racy, and venomous (in a good way!) in her poetry book “Mixed Rhythms and Shady Rhymes”. Her poems roll out line after line of wit and clearheaded societal observation. She both builds a picture of our life today in the era of Twitter and podcasts, Woke-blokes and man-splaining, as she critiques that life. She challenges us to think about privilege and blackness, about what it means to “pass”, and how one should respond to those who purport to be allies to those around them.
Teresa is authentic to the #ownvoices movement and never once lets the reader walk away from the fact, holding you gripped in her storytelling. In “Fetish” you fell her hurt through her snaps and clap backs. In “Soul-Mush” you feel her frustration with hookup culture, ghosting, and !#*% boys. She writes, not only with the Millennial voice, but the Black Millennial voice—gritty, but sweet. She is someone who is tough as nails and dares the world to fight her. Her steely truth confronts us in the poems “Get Back to Your Own Country” (“Where is it I should ‘go back’ to?/ On what planet would that be?”) and “Uncivil Service” where she shows us the pain of having her voice silenced, even today in our so-called modern world.
This book was excellent, two huge thumbs up. I can’t wait to see the scathing societal critiques to come.