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Invasive Species

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In Invasive species, Marwa Helal's searing politically charged poems touch on our collective humanity and build new pathways for empathy, etching themselves into memory. This work centers on urgent themes in our cultural landscape, creating space for unseen victims of discriminatory foreign (read: immigration) policy: migrants, refugees--the displaced. Helal transfers live ...more
Paperback, 131 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Nightboat Books
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4.67  · 
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 ·  15 ratings  ·  7 reviews


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Wendy Ortiz
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
it’s early to say but this has to be one of the best books I’ll read this year.
Emma
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think everyone should read this.

I really do. In some breaths Claudia Rankine, in others Whitman, Ms. Helal pulls threads from poetry and science and politics together to craft a visually, sonically, and emotionally stunning landscape. Invasive Species was an articulate, formally sophisticated work that I found to be a strong and fresh voice on the topic of immigration and cultural identity. It knocked my socks off. It was a multi-media magnum opus of art and social criticism, both cutting and
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Gwendolyn
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This poetry collection is very timely and addresses some difficult topics around insider/outsider status and immigration challenges. My favorite part of this collection is the middle section (the A to Z section) that describes Helal’s difficult immigration pathway into the United States. It’s almost prose but also poetry and very beautifully done. It was emotionally impactful for me. I really appreciated Helal’s show of anger and resentment as well as her hope for a brighter future and a desire ...more
Summer
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
the entire thing is stunning, but I have a particular affinity for the middle section: immigration as a second language. the push of genre is aspirational & inspiring. this is true throughout the collection, but the awareness of language the poems possess is disarming & productive--the poems know they are poems and know they are making up for the failure of language in the failing language. It's heart wrenching even in the most denotated moments. marwa helal is amazing.
Henneh  Kyereh Kwaku
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These poems are what you want a poem to be & what you don't know a poem can be—so much invention. Helal's ingenuity is admirable. If you have to read any poetry collection this year, you must read this book & even if you don't want to read poetry this year & every other year—you must read this book.
Kent Winward
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a hybrid book -- part poetry, part alphabet narrative (immigration A through Z). The book had its moments and the underlying metaphor of immigrants as invasive species worked. My major complaint is that some of the poems try a little too hard to be "edgy."
Anne Marie
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, form-bending, mind-blowing collection.
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