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soft magic.

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,053 ratings  ·  326 reviews
soft magic. is the debut collection of prose and poetry by Malawian writer, Upile Chisala. This book explores the self, joy, blackness, gender, matters of the heart, the experience of Diaspora, spirituality and most of all, how we survive. soft magic. is a shared healing journey.
Kindle Edition, 122 pages
Published September 7th 2015 (first published September 4th 2015)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,053 ratings  ·  326 reviews

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Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry

soft magic.  is the debut collection of prose and poetry by Malawian writer, Upile Chisala. This book explores the self, joy, blackness, gender, matters of the heart, the experience of Diaspora, spirituality and most of all, how we survive.  soft magic.  is a shared healing journey.

I so crave that feeling poetry collections evoke in my reading experience, so stumbling across soft magic. was, well, magic.

I do have to note that the tiny amount of poems that feature aimless, filler poetry
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I want to think that God smiles
when a black woman is brave enough
to love herself.

I don't say this lightly when I say that soft magic. is my favorite collection of poetry I have read in years. It is powerful, and brave, and loving, and comforting, and flawless. I want to paper my walls with every page of this collection. There's nothing I can even say that Upile Chisala couldn't say a million times better, so instead of reviewing this, I'm just going to leave you with a few of my favorite
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
I made a super pretty and aesthetically pleasing video out of this review, so if you would rather look at some beautiful pictures and listen to my soothing voice (lol) instead of reading this review, check out my video! <3

So, after watching yet another lovely video by Diana (from the channel diana in colour, please check her out!), I decided to pick up soft magic. by Upile Chisala. Diana warmly recommended this poetry collection about Black female self-love and desire and since I found the Kindl
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
!!! REVIEW -
This was a decent collection, Upile has done well.
It was quite healing and self-helpish, which isn't bad. It could have used more editing- the typos were annoying to spot. And some poems felt like a knock off from 'salt.' (Nayyirah Waheed's collection) - just being honest here lol. But I loved how very pro-black this collection was. Its black A F.

Fave poems:
"being this ebony.
having this name.
carrying this language in my mouth.
there were time
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars
“I am dripping melanin and honey. I am black without apology.”
Title: Soft Magic
Author: Upile Chisala
Genre: Poetry

I was really exited to read this book from Upile, First of all the cover is beautiful and the title just spoke to me. This book had great themes of poetry like being proud of the skin that you are in,love and happiness. Upile really dropped some great gems in this book that will stay with me forever This book was a great and easy read and I will be reading more from this auth
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
An inspirational collection, and one I thoroughly recommend.

Full review to come
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This was beautifully written
My favorite part of this poetry collection:

1. Do not accept the love of a man who makes you feel small, the universe is already so vast. 2. You are innately beautiful and completely irreplaceable. 3. You don’t have to go far to find love and validation, start from within. 4. Boys are boys and men are mean, tell them apart. 5. Be alone often, as you are, but don’t that turn into loneliness. 6. Remember to remain gentle. 7. Don’t stay angry at the world too long. Seek o
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
'I am dripping melanin and honey.
I am black without apology.'

I loved reading this collection.
Sometimes it's hard hitting. Sometimes it's just mundane lines of giving advice to young girls. Some lines are just about taking caution when it comes to men and boys.

I specifically liked the lines about the empowerment of women.

I just didn't feel it as lines written solely for the black women.

Enjoyed reading it.
H.A. Leuschel
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and tender!
Leah Rachel von Essen
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Upile Chisala’s longer poems within soft magic. are her best. They float with the support of hard details, of dialogue, of character in the background, of sensory detail. Her poem listing the foods she uses to try and find home in the supermarket is one of these; another is the poem that begins “sometimes I eat poems / late at night,” or “He has found galaxies.” Or the ones that hold within them one-liners from a grandmother or mother, dialogue that tears and hurts, that hits home. Chisala finds ...more
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
maybe just read some nayyirah waheed or yrsa daley-ward or warsan shire instead.....

i appreciate how unapologetically black this is, though
Jherane Patmore
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Sweet, charming and predictable

Nothing that blew me away, but it is very self-affirming and I liked that feeling.
Quite a predictable but cute collection.
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
There are some good, 'long' ones in this collection. But i absolutely dislike this kind of writing style. I did want to like this because of its importance but... couldn't.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Me: *looks at book synopsis*
Ooh, a poetry book about black women and female empowerment? YES
*actually reads the book*
Also me: I should have known better than to expect that this would be groundbreaking when this is the kind of poetry that sells. Sigh.
Alice (MTB/Alice Tied The Bookish Knot)
3.5 stars! Read via KU.

I liked Soft Magic for its honesty and powerful reflections on mental health. I could really relate to that. A few of the poems were a little short and the message was missing for me a little bit personally. This does have good pacing however!
Rachel Nicole Wagner
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I absolutely LOVE this collection of poetry. So much authenticity and feeling throughout. I definitely recommend this to all my fellow poetry readers out there. This is an amazing one!

Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
"sometimes it feels like I dreamt you up
like I closed my eyes and created you."
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
A lovely collection of poem that talks about feminism, women, love and life. It is empowering and I truly enjoy it. This collection is a modern poetry collection in a style that is very popular now, but I'd say that Soft Magic is pretty stand out because of the way she wrote the poems :) I recommend for you to pick it up.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Writing Style - 3/5
Cover - 3/5

Overall Rating - 3/5
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. I thought that the poems connected well and I loved listening to them (since my echo dot read them to me). I highly recommend this collection if you’re looking to read about love and relationships but also about empowering yourselves and others. This had a good mix of both and I would recommend it to everyone.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Do yourself a favor and read this book. Then read it again.
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
"Choose happiness every morning like you would an outfit."
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
"if someone hasn't called you brave lately, I will.
you are fighting sadness with everything you've got
and for that you are mighty."
Rebecca L.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
I've been thinking a lot about poetry lately. What does it mean to write poetry? What does it mean to be a poet? What makes a poem? 

Many of my fellow English majors would argue that a poem is defined by form, structure, and meter; however, in recent years, there have been many exciting things happening in the world of poetry. The world is starting to listen to the voices of poets from diverse backgrounds. Space is being made in the poetry world for women, people of color, and people from other g
Ally Guay
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Here is what I love about this collection of poetry. 1.) It had a focus of African American Women loving themselves and their bodies. I feel that there are not enough books or poetry collections that show the true beauty of accepting and loving exactly who you are. 2.) Even if you are not African American, you can connect with all of these Poems no matter who you are- No matter your age, skin tone, sex, or religion. And that, is the beauty of poetry. Everyone can relate in their own way. There w ...more
Mar 21, 2020 added it
Sweet, heartwarming, and very straightforward, which apparently aren't things I look for in poetry. At least now I know?
(also, anything with religious themes/undertones will very easily be a miss for me.)

[still challenging myself to read things out of my comfort zone in these quarantine + free scribd days.]
Marie Ainomugisha
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“who taught you how to be so silent?

to fold your tongue back into your mouth
so neatly?”

Upile shares a healthy dose of love, particularly self-love in this text.

Soft brilliance.
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so gorgeous.

So. damn. gorgeous.

I had so many favorites, but I think I'll put this one here:

"I don't want to be less of me if that's
the only way I'll get more of you."
India DuBois
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So beautiful and empowering! As a WOC this really touched me in so many ways, a love letter to my soul. I recommend this for everyone, especially women looking to say "yasssss queen" and "omg, that is so me" and "damn, I remember how much it hurt to feel like this but I survived that and so did she". Can't say enough about how good this was. I picked it up and couldn't put it down. It's short but great and I read it in one sitting.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-ebooks
I personally haven't read Salt by Nayyirah Waheed, which a lot of people are comparing this to. In my uneducated, therefore, opinion, this was so well written. Highly relatable and heart-warming, Upile Chisala offers an unapologetic anthology of what it means to be a black woman in 'soft magic.'
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