Poetry. African & African American Studies. Latinx Studies. Women's Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. After ten years of performing her spoken word poetry, Ariana Brown gathers her favorite poems to return to in her chapbook SANA SANA. With a tender and critical voice, she explores Black girlhood, the possibilities of queerness, finding your people, and trying to survive capitalism. All are explored as acts of different kinds of love--for self, for lovers, for family, for community. Brown's collection refuses singularity, insisting on the specificity of her own life and studies. As she writes toward her own healing, Brown asks readers to participate in the ceremony by serving as witnesses. Sana Sana, colita de rana, si no sana hoy, sana en la mañana.
The virtue that I have long admired in the poems of Ariana Brown is the warmth that is directed upon the audience. And these poems know and identify their audience with gentleness and gratitude, even--or especially--when the audience is the self. Even death links its fingers with praise, even dislocation is met with a crawl back to some familiar affection. I am thankful to once again be witness to these poems that welcome and make space for the people who most need it. And for how Ariana Brown sets a lens on the world that is critical, but always caring.--Hanif Abdurraqib