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Even This Page Is White

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,519 ratings  ·  245 reviews
Vivek's debut collection of poetry is a bold and timely interrogation of skin: its origins, functions, and limitations. Poems that range in style from starkly concrete to limber break down the barriers that prevent understanding of what it means to be racialized. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible, and undeniable.
Paperback, 116 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Arsenal Pulp Press
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Jason
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqia, canadian, poetry
Absolutely brilliant and important. Necessary reading, especially for white people. A proper review to come once I read this again. So much to work through. So well-crafted, so powerful.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Amazingly, this is not the first book of poems by a transgender or gender fluid Canadian person-of-color that I've read in the last two weeks (the previous was A Place Called No Homeland, also highly recommended.) Another great read for National Poetry Month.

The subheadings of these poems should draw anyone in - "white dreams," "whitespeak," "how to talk to a white person," "the origins of skin," and "brown dreams." Clearly this collection will speak to race, what it is to live as a person of co
...more
Emma
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this book is a very interesting and powerful read and I definitely see myself coming back to it in the future time and time again, just because of some very insightful points that it brings up about race, racism and being an ally. I totally recommend this read to everyone. Also, I'm very looking forward to reading more by Vivek Shraya.
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
Holy shit, a powerful and beautiful book, both in terms of its content about racism and its craft playing with different poem types and structure. I will need to read this again (and probably again and again).

Full review on my blog here.
...more
Alice Lippart
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017, poetry
An important collection discussing crucial issues in our society. Some poems were fantastic, but I found the style of a lot of them difficult to get on with.
Lydia
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Happy Pride Month!

Even This Page is White by Vivek Shraya has to be one of my most long-awaited reads of 2017. And from the first poem, white dreams, I loved her work.

She discusses racism, colour, what it means to be brown, desire, sexuality and how in coveting whiteness, you can lose yourself. I loved that she was able to take complex, difficult issues like privilege, heteronormativity and her own anti-black racism and condense them into short, emotional, cathartic poems.

Her work is not academi
...more
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
I decided I wanted to read Even this Page is White by Vivek Shraya because I am someone who loves to read poetry, but rarely reads any modern, newly published poetry that isn’t classical. This particular collection caught my eye because it is about white privilege, and how to handle the topic of racism when you do care about it but don’t know how to approach it. In other words, it sounded like the perfect kind of poetry collection to get me started on modern poetry. However, it didn’t quite work ...more
Tori (InToriLex)
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

These poems were riveting and powerful. I was so happy to give this poetry collection a read. I first heard about this book when it was a nominee for a 2016 Goodreads choice award in the poetry category. The title had me intrigued and the reading experience was so much more than I expected. Not only does the author address racial issues, but the self-esteem issues that emerge in a society that does not value you the way that you are. Shraya is unafraid t
...more
Sleepless Dreamer
I am deeply conflicted about whether to count this as my Canada book for my reading challenge because it's not really about Canada and frankly, I thought the author was American. However, the author is Canadian and if I'll be overly picky about which books I count, I might never finish this challenge.

Anyway, review to come!
shakespeareandspice
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
You can feel the frustration in so many of these poems. And I can relate just as much to the rage.
Vanessa
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, poetry
This collection has been on my radar for years, and I've always been holding out for a physical copy but unable to find one new. But I finally decided to bite the bullet and get it on Kindle because it felt like the perfect time to read it.

This collection is incredibly important in the messages it relays - Shraya covers a variety of topics, from racism to white privilege to gender. There are some exceptionally powerful poems in here that really worked for me, my favourite being the first poem Wh
...more
Naori
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Vivek devotes so much of her poetry to the peeling away of the social, the physical, and the metaphysical so to lay before the reader her skin...all the rawness and trueness of her brown skin, and what that means to each of us and the world....I don’t feel ready to write a review of her words until I have the bravery to remove my layers and stand before her with at least a trembling pen and the offering of my skin to give back

While I think this is is one of the most courageous and intelligent w
...more
Leah Horlick
This is the future of QTIPOC poetry, folks. The kind of book people are going to look back and credit as their formative text on race -- the kind of book you'll fall back on again and again. Keep it on your syllabus as an antidote to the legion of white male poets; keep it on your nightstand as protection against anybody who's ever tried to colonize or fetishize your body. So so so much love for Vivek and this visionary work.
Emmkay
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Multi-layered and thought-provoking collection of poetry that peels back and teases away at the complexities of race. Imaginative and mind-opening without being dully didactic. The pop culture pieces do pop, but may not have the staying power of the other pieces, some of which were breath-taking.
Aleksandra
so I made your skin the colour of my home the night sky
you were already stars


This is a collection of poems by Vivek Shraya, a trans woman of colour who lives in Canada, she’s a singer, performer, an educator, a poet and more. In this collection she talks about racism, whiteness and her experiences living through it and many more. Her poems vary from being straight to the point to flowing with metaphors.

I am sad I haven’t listened to an audiobook (it wasn’t available for me on scribd), I think I
...more
Lauren
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing

If I write about you is it appropriation
If I don't write about you is it erasure
If I include you is it tokenizing
If I don't include you is it invisibilizing


Shraya's words will move you: maybe to tears - maybe to smile - maybe to consider - maybe to anger. Impactful, important, and intersectional. A must read.
Barth Siemens
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Barth by: Canada Reads 2017 longlist
Shelves: lgbt, poetry, canada
The opening salvo is certainly evocative--more than I had prepared myself for. Several pieces are full on brilliant. Others quietly sneak into your consciousness. Some never revealed their point to me.

I'm glad to have read it.
Jae
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I whispered "damn" under my breath a lot of times.
ridwana
6/5 STARS THIS WAS INCREDIBLE

this is it. this is the book of poetry i've been searching for my entire life. everything was beautiful, i related to so much. nothing seemed like the writer tried too hard to appeal to a specific audience, everything was genuine and gorgeous. everybody needs to read this. please read this.
Renée Yoxon
Absolutely paradigm-shifting and necessary. So thankful for this collection.
Meg
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
what do I say? go read it!
Liz Janet
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I still think the title is the best part.
Ellen
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ok so here’s the thing. I really really liked a lot of parts of this book. But many parts of the book I was kinda confused about the wording and the sentence structure and also the formatting (I also did read the ebook version so maybe the formatting was lost in this edition). Some parts seemed overdone abit but overall I thought it was really good and important.

I’m also really shocked because I checked the date and this was published in 2016 ——->

“i think it stems from people feeling like if th
...more
BookishStitcher
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This was good, and I could tell that Vivek Shraya felt really strongly about LBGTQ+ things and race. The poetry felt very personal more like the author was expressing their own journey than trying to produce some emotion in the reader. For me a 5 star poetry collection means that I felt extremely moved by several of the poems. That wasn't my experience with this particular collection.
Hannah
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just loved it. One of the best poetry collections I’ve ever read. Colour, race, gender, love, pain, humanity, expression, oppression and identity all beautifully unfurled in 80 pages? The ‘how to talk to a white person’ section was particularly moving. There were many hard truths there. Overall: gorgeous writing and a vastly unique and important voice.
Jenni
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is definitely an impactful read. I am still not really into poetry, though.
Heather(Gibby)
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-author
I zipped through reading this in about an hour and a half, then spent another couple of hours reading/watching everything I could on Vivek Shraya, and now I am going to go through and read this again more slowly.

So powerful, and puts into words some very difficult subjects, and things that are hard to think about, never mind talk about.
Greg Giannakis
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, can-lit
3.5 stars. While many parts of this were beautiful, there were quite a few that fell a bit flat. I also felt like a lot of this would've worked better as spoken word?
Sarah
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
the overall message displayed in this book was incredibly thought provoking, challenging my beliefs towards race and solidarity as a POC. Vivek Shraya, a trans woman, outlines her experiences with self-hatred and whiteness being all around her. She uses this platform to explicitly showcase the privilege white people face, her journey towards loving her brown skin, and also noting the importance of acknowledging our responsibility to talk about the anti-blackness in our communities (excellent not ...more
Kristen Merke
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
4.5/5
I don't know enough about poetry to say what are good poems or bad poems. What I can say is these speak. They are unafraid. They hold power. As a white person, I will never understand the full weight of some. But Shraya has created a work that is open and gives me a chance to listen and hear. To challenge my whiteness. To challenge why even the page is white.

My only 'critique' is I wish there had been more poems relating to the intersection of Queerness and Race, because that interests me.
...more
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Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film. She is the author of The Subtweet, Death Threat, even this page is white, The Boy & The Bindi, She of the Mountains, and God Loves Hair; and her best-selling I’m Afraid of Men was her­ald­ed by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel”. She is one half of the music duo Too Attac ...more

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“brown life is an unbroken bearing of the weight and hollow of the active absence of brown life.” 3 likes
“i have white dreams
billboards magazines
mighty praise accolades
top 10 lists and top 10 hits

so i climb dodge boulders
earn blisters but even
the top of the mountain
is white”
1 likes
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