A Map of Rain Days invites us into the liminal between the nights and the “too-bright days.” The author navigates a life felt full on, inhabiting all its beauty and shadows — the “slap-tumble” of sex, “the mean streets of the suburbs,” “the swill and gore” of youth. Interwoven into this life are the realities of racism, addiction, suicide, rape, and death. And then clarity ensues.
A Map of Rain Days chronicles a life of loves and losses in tender, surreal, striking metaphors that limn a body tattooed with fragments of a life, a body whose “skin” is “opened/like slicing a peach.” Like “the sweet odour of chocolate,” Jennifer’s poems are rich, sensual with a simplicity that belies dense under-layers of sadness, of love for a mother, a daughter, of memories of an abusive relationship that still scars, of the taunts and cruelties a girl of colour in a white world endures. These haunting poems become like “sparks” that “consume … a forest” of contemplation on the ways a life of a contemporary woman is composed. This is a collection to savour.
Brenda Clews, author of Tidal Fury and Fugue in Green
Jennifer Hosein has established herself as an artist brave enough to harness the full spectrum of the feminine struggle. With her first collection of poems, A Map of Rain Days, she has commanded all of her artistic experience into verse, illuminating the sorrow of loss, the physical ecstasy of love, the horror of abuse, and the strength to heal and make peace with happiness—often within the same work.
Brandon Pitts, author of Tender in the Age of Fury and In the Company of Crows