Author: Nikita Gill
Pub. Date: Feb. 2021 (read Oct. 2021)
I don’t often review poetry because I’m not always sure what to say about it after the fact, but I wanted to write a short review for this one since I enjoyed it so much. I read one of Gill’s other anthologies, Wild Embers, a few years ago, as well as the collection she edited called SLAM. Those were both great, but this was definitely my favourite.
Where Hope Comes From is a collection of poems about life during the pandemic. I knew the pandemic was soon going to start showing up in a lot of books and to be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. We’ve all lived through it for almost 2 years now and in some ways I want the escapism of simpler times. I stumbled across this one in Chapters and bought it because I thought it might be nominated in the Goodreads Choice Awards.
I’m so glad I did buy it because I ended up enjoying it so much more than I thought I would! I feel like we’ve consumed so much media about the pandemic in the past 2 years, but until I picked this up I had no idea how much I needed to read thoughtful and reflective writing about the pandemic. Granted, this is mostly about the early pandemic and I would argue the second and third waves were emotionally much more challenging than the first one, but I feel like Gill does such a great job of evoking all the feelings I felt at that time and giving voice to the pain and sadness that we’ve all felt over the past 2 years.
Poetry is a medium unlike any other and it was such a good reminder of collectively what we’ve all been through. The poems are simple and I think that’s what makes them so powerful. They are very accessible to a wide audience. I oscillate with poetry because I really like it, but a lot of the time I feel like it’s just a bit over my head. Nikita Gill’s poetry is relatable and it’s just what I needed in a time when I think we’re all ready to move on, but burnt out over what we’ve collectively experienced. Definitely recommend if you’re feeling reflective.