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In this poetic-prose anthology, the 2017 Nigerian Writers Award winner; Oyindamola Shoola returns to project the silent stories of many women. The Silence We Eat merges stories of places where women have walked, and their bodies have survived. It is about the trajectory of silence and how it leads us home, sometimes, to find our voices. Oyindamola shows us that often, silence is deafening, detaching, choking, empty, and fading but then, it becomes finding, rediscovering healing, and wholeness.
This compilation of personal conversations, contemplations and ponderations is permitted by the Lord to be shared because of the end He has in mind. He hasn’t forgotten the place we were in a year ago and as such wants to reaffirm His commitment to making the short earthly span of Eri’s life count beyond what anyone could ever imagine. I, therefore, send these words forth with no other prayer but that a bountiful harvest might be reaped and credited to the account of that beautiful soul that blessed us all in his time with us. JD, December, 2017. (Ogbomoso)
The constituents of Oyindamola s reality as a young black female immigrant, have caused an explosion of feminist awakening in Oyin's heart and her readers are the lucky spectators who get to watch her bedazzle us with To Bee a Honey: a scintillating work of art. Throughout the work, we see influences of other powerful women of color such as Warsan Shire, Rupi Kaur, and Maya Angelou, albeit not with the author's intention. We encounter a poet who does not only revel in the new-found confidence of her scribbling but also in the lush glow of her womanhood. What immediately strikes one upon perusing this work is its aesthetic beauty. This is not limited to the arresting visual images drawn up on the pages but also the arrangement of the lines; with carefully-planned alignments birthing creatively-shaped poems. A perfect example is a poem in this collection titled The pression, which relies more on the manner of presentation of the words to relay the message, than the actual self-contained meanings of the words themselves. The poems in To Bee a Honey are unlike what is found in many other poetry collections. They are drawings along the lines of the reader's consciousness. At the risk of being accused of over-proclamation, I dare say, To Bee a Honey is a welcome to the future of twenty-first century African poetry. (Description written by Kanyinsola Olorunnisola)