Hey babes! I am so excited to bring you my first ever book review. After being able to read and purchase a friend's first published work, I just had to share with you all the magic of this poetry as well as the fiery and sweet soul that wrote it. Below is a closer look into the brilliant mind of Nhandi Jackson, as well as my personal feedback on her new book of poetry " Still, I Give All I Have".
Get to know Nhandi
1. Where are you from and how old are you?
I was born in Miami, Florida but my roots are in Marietta, Georgia and Southeast D.C. I’m going through my second mid-life crisis so I’m 24.
2. When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was 4. Short stories, love letters to my mom, horror stories, poems and graphic novels. Shout out to my mom who has kept almost all of the love letters I wrote to her and my first graphic novel.
3. Who inspires you to be you?
As of recently, it’s been the support of my friends, acquaintances, and strangers that has motivated me to stay true to myself. I’m inspired by every person that I’ve crossed paths with that continues to be unapologetic in their creative abilities. Please keep creating.
4. What is something you would go back and tell 16-year-old you?
Girl, put that flat iron down!
5. What makes your writing different?
Someone recently told me it’s my conclusions. I come to really big + grand conclusions after I take you on a journey. My endings hit hard, whether it’s a 3 line poem or prose, you can count on a dramatic but satisfying ending. However, even with my ‘end all be all’ conclusions I still give you the chance to create and apply your own thoughts and ideas...I welcome it and pretty much demand it from you.
6. Which poem is your favorite and why?
Aw man. That’s so hard. I like the super sad ones because the pain is so vivid in my mind, presently. I can remember writing ‘2-14-2016’ on valentines day and being unable to finish writing on the page because my tears were making the ink run together. I also really like ‘I thrive on organized loneliness’ because I was truly getting over heartbreak and addiction but there were moments where the pain felt unbearable and I’d relapse and go on a week-long drinking binge or worse, I’d text/call my ex. Last one, “Why is the universe?” is another favorite. Pain became my new normal. Ache and destructive behaviors became my new identity and I struggled with my connection to the universe. I isolated myself so I could wallow in my new identity--you don’t have to worry about living up to your potential if you’re busy wallowing.
7. What are your next steps pertaining to your life as a writer? Do you plan on publishing more work?
Yes ma’am! My next piece of work won’t be poetry but it’ll be me. So you know it’ll be...genuine.
Title: Still, I Give All I Have
Author: Nhandi Jackson
Cover Art: Jordan Norton
Where can I purchase?: Amazon
Rating: 5 out of 5
With words as elegant as they are raw, Nhandi Jackson brought together “Still, I Give All I Have” in the most
magical way possible. The multifaceted writer shared her pain and redemption with the world, through her debut work of literature, which was inspired by her own battles with heartache, suicidal ideations depression, and addiction. Each poem spoke to every aspect of my soul , my favorite being " I am not looking for love",spinning a tale of rebirth of self and love after healing and evolving from damage caused by past lovers.
Split into two parts, "Feeling & Dealing" & "Phoenix", Nhandi vividly paints a picture of being at your lowest point and then learning to put yourself back together despite the pain. After reading through feverishly, I knew this would become one of my favorite works of poetry. The realness and transparency of each poem made me feel like Nhandi was speaking to every emotion I felt when dealing with my own heartache and depression. As I read, I felt like she was exposing her bare soul and sacrificing the sacredness of her own healing process, in order to help whoever may be reading to heal as well. The inner growth presented throughout this work is a read within itself, and as you get to the end you find yourself rooting not just for Nhandi, but for yourself as well. "Still, I Give All I Have" is a classic in the making and no matter who you may be, you will find the content relatable, eye opening, and well worth the read.
Nhandi is also the CEO of the NJ Tutoring Company (@njtutorco), which works to diversify high-level professional spaces with more Black and Brown people. To keep up to date with Nhandi and all of her work, follow her on IG @goodguynhans.