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This long-awaited first collection of poetry by queer Sri Lankan writer and spoken-word artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is full of the stories we've been waiting for. Tracing bloodlines from Sri Lanka's civil wars to Brooklyn and Toronto streets, these fierce poems are full of heart and guts, telling raw truths about brown girl border crossings before and after 9/1 This long-awaited first collection of poetry by queer Sri Lankan writer and spoken-word artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is full of the stories we've been waiting for. Tracing bloodlines from Sri Lanka's civil wars to Brooklyn and Toronto streets, these fierce poems are full of heart and guts, telling raw truths about brown girl border crossings before and after 9/11, surviving abuse, mixed-race journeys and high femme rebellions. Consensual Genocide celebrates our survival and marks our rebel memories into history.


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This long-awaited first collection of poetry by queer Sri Lankan writer and spoken-word artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is full of the stories we've been waiting for. Tracing bloodlines from Sri Lanka's civil wars to Brooklyn and Toronto streets, these fierce poems are full of heart and guts, telling raw truths about brown girl border crossings before and after 9/1 This long-awaited first collection of poetry by queer Sri Lankan writer and spoken-word artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is full of the stories we've been waiting for. Tracing bloodlines from Sri Lanka's civil wars to Brooklyn and Toronto streets, these fierce poems are full of heart and guts, telling raw truths about brown girl border crossings before and after 9/11, surviving abuse, mixed-race journeys and high femme rebellions. Consensual Genocide celebrates our survival and marks our rebel memories into history.

30 review for Consensual Genocide

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

    “1. HOW DID YOUR LIFE CHANGE AFTER SEPTEMBER 11???? After everything I’ve made it through, it made me want to die I didn’t want to live in fascism live on TV staring me dead in the eye with a retina scanner and my prints on universal ID I didn’t want to live after they preemptively nuked a place             not where I’m from but mine nonetheless We are all Afghani now             all us brown folks Nepali to native it doesn’t matter to them” (from “I didn’t wand the end times / to be like this: 9/11 in se “1. HOW DID YOUR LIFE CHANGE AFTER SEPTEMBER 11???? After everything I’ve made it through, it made me want to die I didn’t want to live in fascism live on TV staring me dead in the eye with a retina scanner and my prints on universal ID I didn’t want to live after they preemptively nuked a place             not where I’m from but mine nonetheless We are all Afghani now             all us brown folks Nepali to native it doesn’t matter to them” (from “I didn’t wand the end times / to be like this: 9/11 in seven slams”) 4.5

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Straight-to-the-point -- Leah Laksmhmi's direct, present writing style makes this collection of her works very accessible and powerful. Her struggle, pain, triumph around her identity, and politics - actively whitewashed by her mother, passively let go by her father -- and her ongoing journey to claim and reclaim her ancestry are the resonating themes in a good portion of her work. I found her work refreshing, fresh.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Heine

    Consensual Genocide Consensual Genocide by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a nonfiction poetry book that discusses serious topics like racism, rape, abuse, and sexual orientation. Readers get to learn about these subjects through a unique point of view, since the author is a queer, colored woman who struggles with autism. I love poetry books because they tend to be honest, touching, and inspiring with an artistic aspect. However, my honest, overall opinion of this book is not great. To be fr Consensual Genocide Consensual Genocide by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a nonfiction poetry book that discusses serious topics like racism, rape, abuse, and sexual orientation. Readers get to learn about these subjects through a unique point of view, since the author is a queer, colored woman who struggles with autism. I love poetry books because they tend to be honest, touching, and inspiring with an artistic aspect. However, my honest, overall opinion of this book is not great. To be frank, certain parts of the book were tough to read. Most of her poems have a lot of grammar and spelling errors, which can make it hard to understand and read fluently. Her poems are also very jumbled together, almost as if she spit out all these ideas and randomly through them onto the pages. Although this might allude to the author’s character, it made the book less enjoyable for me personally. Also, some of the poems, especially in the beginning of the book, use a lot of vulgar diction and imagery that can easily make readers feel very uncomfortable. The author is very open and descriptive about her sexual urges, feelings, and actions, een in poems that it doesn’t seem appropriate. On the flip side, Consensual Genocide, in my opinion, does get better throughout the book. About half way through, Leah begins to move away from the topic of sex and dive more into other matters, like racism and activism. Her poems also become a bit easier to understand. This might be due to her developing as she wrote the book, or it could be because I was getting used to her writing style. I think that the best part of reading this book is the fascinating perspective readers get on these serious issues. Coming from a disabled, queer, colored woman who has undergone much mistreatment and trauma, readers get an honest, inside look into her thoughts and feelings. In conclusion, I would overall not recommend this book to other people. I am a lover of poetry books, empowerment, feminism, and learning.However, Concensual Genocide was hard to read, difficult to understand, very poorly organized, quite vuglar at times, and generally unsatifying. This made the book a bit frustrating and not worth reading to me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jordin Giovagnoli

    So as someone who likes poetry books, I was pretty disappointed with this read. I thought this is going to be an extremely empowering book that would make me feel good and want to go change the world for the better but that was not the case. Really this book was all over the place with things being added as if whilst writing it she had a thought and needed to write it down. By this I mean she could be talking about something and then out of nowhere make a comment that’s completely unrelated to w So as someone who likes poetry books, I was pretty disappointed with this read. I thought this is going to be an extremely empowering book that would make me feel good and want to go change the world for the better but that was not the case. Really this book was all over the place with things being added as if whilst writing it she had a thought and needed to write it down. By this I mean she could be talking about something and then out of nowhere make a comment that’s completely unrelated to what the context of the story is. By this I mean she could be talking about something and then out of nowhere make a comment that’s completely unrelated to what the context of the story is. Along with being extremely erratic its also… Well how should I put this diplomatically; extremely poorly written grammatically. There are hardly any periods throughout all of her poems and yes, it is free verse, but it does nothing but jumble the meaning. It’s inspiring when a poet can break grammar rules and it enhances the message they’re trying to convey. Anyway moral of that story is if you are a grammar freak do not read this book. While my review might be skipping the whole book wasn’t bad. There were things that she talked about that were really inspiring actually (if you could understand the words on the page and make something of them, there was meaning :/ ). She was a victim of rape and abuse. She was a minority in a racial religious and sexual standpoint. She has disabilities (she is autistic) And overall she just had a really horrible life. As a woman belonging to multiple minority categories, it is inspiring to see that she’s breaking all these boundaries and writing a book. So this book does have a lot of deep conversations a lot of thoughts you know things that are generally pretty taboo to talk about society and if you want to get really candid with this author then you have the opportunity to do that in this book. People who do not want to hear about things of an explicitly sexual nature or are just going to want A light read should not read this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Grace Phillips

    Leah Lakshmi connects to people around the world when talking about her personal experiences in "Consensual Genocide". Lakshmi's stories stretch from little personal problems to global ones. One some of her poems talked about about when she was a teenager. She touched on the topic of self image, family issues, and even how she figured out she was queer. All of these poems could related back to teenagers, like me, since we are going through a lot of the same thing as she was in the book. Though m Leah Lakshmi connects to people around the world when talking about her personal experiences in "Consensual Genocide". Lakshmi's stories stretch from little personal problems to global ones. One some of her poems talked about about when she was a teenager. She touched on the topic of self image, family issues, and even how she figured out she was queer. All of these poems could related back to teenagers, like me, since we are going through a lot of the same thing as she was in the book. Though many of her poems relate back teenagers, there are also more serious topics talked about like rape, race, and how she felt she was being portrayed after 9/11. All of her more serious poems really opened up my eyes and made me think in another light, made me put myself in her shoes. She is also very direct in the book about what is going on, however it is hard to understand at the same time. The way she spells and the way she structures her stanza are weird, but she get's strait to the point when she's trying to portray her thoughts. Overall I think this is a good book with a lot of underlying themes. If you like poetry you may like this book. If you don't you will most likely hate this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steph Mecham

    4.5

  7. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    3.75 stars. I can't say I'm fully on board with the title of this collection, but other than that, queer Sri Lankan badass poet is all you need to know.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Torres

    4.5

  9. 5 out of 5

    ry

    This has been going on for twenty years but people still go on feeding chickens growing pumpkins commuting to work If she asked me the state of my heart I would say that what I am capable of is continuing I want to love my way through scar tissue from she asked me what my heart was like and I said it was like sri lanka

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kari B

    Breathtakingly phenomenal read. Very short, but exhilarating nonetheless. The discussions of finding love or being in love in the diaspora, comparing body masses to landscapes, the discussion of survivorship and critiques of the remnants of colonization all fits itself into 73 pages of pure, raw, poetic excellence. Highly recommend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Basically I feel like it's a privilege for me to be allowed to read these poems.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    Sri Lanka, to Brooklyn, to Toronto, seen through the eyes of a queer daughter of parents who grew up in Ceylon, the country now known as Ceylon. Rich, ironic, political, worldly.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sinthu Srikanthan

    not really a fan of the title.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    "eating a $5 plate of string hoppers, I think of my father", "landmine heart" and "At the naturopath's"... damn.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Calvin Jensen

  16. 5 out of 5

    retusa

  17. 5 out of 5

    Taina

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Perry

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leeza

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ghaida Moussa

  21. 4 out of 5

    J9

  22. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kirstyn

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael Russell

  26. 4 out of 5

    Julia Lo

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jyoanna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

  29. 4 out of 5

    Xyendra

  30. 4 out of 5

    C. Kimmi Ramnine

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