Review: Every Watering Word by Tanya Manning-Yarde

July 31, 2018
Every Watering Word, Tanya Manning-Yarde, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Wasteland Press on September 27, 2017
Format Read: Paperback Edition (126 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ African American Lit/ Own Voices
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Author Request
Every Watering Word
This collection of poetry is an ensemble of many themes. Every Watering Word encompasses poetic rumination about women’s self-discovery; stories about coming of age; explorations of sex, sensuality and eroticism; epiphanies gleaned from motherhood and marriage; the structure and impact of racial and gender oppression; the trials, tribulations and triumphs experienced by love; the inheritance of jazz music and honoring the Black Christian tradition while exploring underlying tensions.


 Content Warning: Abuse, Violence, Sexual Descriptions, Rape


This was an awesome collection of poems ranging from types of oppression to intimate moments of
physical and mental self reflection.  I really enjoyed the wide range of topics that the author covered. There is so much to enjoy and ponder about throughout this collection of poems. The writing was great and engages you the whole way through. I specifically enjoyed the poems highlighting the courage and bravery black people have to continue persevering in a society where they face so much tragedy. This author is skilled in succinctly stirring emotion through her art.
The dreams of brown mothers 
murmur and hunt 
for the void of dark blue/ the
pocket/ where their male kin and children
are snatched captive/ to rehearse again/the
breaking of bones and bloom
to fit
unnatural untimely graves/
earth unearthed too early/too soon.
The poems are categorized into sections which helped create a good flow for the reader. There are poems that describe the problematic ways  the black church was established. It made me think hard about the cultural depth of the black church and how it includes the tragedy of slavery.  While I enjoyed most of the collection there were some poems I didn't quite grasp. That may have been a personal observation, so I recommend giving this collection a chance to move you and offer radical revelations.
returning to the original premise
of what is love
it stems from one original promise. 
i risk believing in you 
past all consciousness.
Recommended for Readers who
- enjoy poetry on hard hitting topics
- are interested in the artistic expression of black history
- want to think more deeply about gender oppression and sexual freedom

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*


Tanya Manning-Yarde
Tanya Manning-Yarde, Ph.D, is a writer and former educator from New York City. A graduate of Rutgers University and University at Albany, she recently worked as a copy editor and contributing writer for Bronze Magazine. She is a freelance blogger for the annual Montclair Film Festival in Montclair, NJ as well as blogger for personal website (tmychronicles.wordpress.com). Prior to pursuing a career as a writer, she was a high school English/Language Arts teacher, Assistant Professor, Instructional Coach and an educational consultant. Her poems have been published by Literary Mama, Memoryhouse and Random Sample Review. She published her first book, Every Watering Word, through Wasteland Press. Inspired by her dissertation titled Literacy as Contextualized Action and homeschooling her two sons until school age, she is also writing articles about literacy and homeschooling. She is also writing a new poetry collection.

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