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Even this Page is White

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,298 ratings  ·  209 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 4.19  · 
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 ·  1,298 ratings  ·  209 reviews

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Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, lgbtqia, 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
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.
Alice Lippart
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2017
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, poetry, lgbtq, race

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: canada, poetry, lgbt
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.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I whispered "damn" under my breath a lot of times.

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.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
what do I say? go read it!
Renée Yoxon
Absolutely paradigm-shifting and necessary. So thankful for this collection.
Liz Janet
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I still think the title is the best part.
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.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is definitely an impactful read. I am still not really into poetry, though.
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?
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 ...more
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.
Chris Frakes
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it

Very topical; particularly liked the sections Whitespeak and How to Talk to a White Person. Interesting perspective—and one not often given voice. There were some poems too overt for my liking, but sometimes you have to be overt to make a point, and Vivek certainly has some important points to make.
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
With everything happening today, I needed a book of poetry about race, about how race is treated in this world today, and I thought this book was EXACTLY what I needed after the BreakBeat Poets (one of my favourite collections of modern poetry today). Sadly, this collection left me feeling a bit ...disappointed? It's hard to really express. Most of this poetry felt out of context in a way because they feel as if you had to be there to understand it fully, which isn't something that we can do. ...more
Maggie Gordon
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: canadiana, poetry
I am not having good luck with poetry today. Even This Page is White is an evocative title. It's a poetic title and it made me eager to dive into some intense poems about race. Unfortunately, while the ideas expressed were valuable and important, I struggled to really see most of this book as poetry. On one hand, anything can be poetry today, so it seems. On the other, there are rules for structure even in free verse that make poetry really sing. There are some really interesting beginnings of ...more
Laura Frey (Reading in Bed)
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not even sure how to do justice to this book in a traditional review. I'm working on it. Seeing Shraya perform this live was an amazing experience!
feux d'artifice
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ok its been a long time since i read a poetry collection that was just so carefully and thoughtfully put together? i felt like i was reading a master composer at work, who carefully thought out the prelude, the rising action and the denouement anf with the grand finish. INCROYABLE!!!!!!!!
just the place of each poem was. so. perfect. FRICK I LOVE THIS POETRY COLLECTION I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELY.
Also, yall, i picked up this book because i went for Vivek Shraya's reading, ALSO INCROYABLE like
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This. is. amazing! A collection of poetry focusing on race and sexuality is nothing new, but the ways that the writer employs metaphor to discuss them is absolutely stunning. Rather than just talking about race in an abstract form, it's all about skin. Literal skin, skin as a boundary, skin touching, skin as self, skin as the human universality. But it's not only the creative use of imagery that's remarkable about EVEN THIS PAGE IS WHITE. It's the the playful and hard-hitting employment of ...more
Kyla Jamieson
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My short review: Read this book. It will change you in difficult & good ways.

My long review:

With her debut poetry collection, even this page is white, Shraya applies her keen intelligence and awareness of positionality to white privilege and systemic racism. The book’s accessibility and attention to everyday racism will undoubtedly elicit comparisons to Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. It is also possible to see connections between Shraya’s collection and Rankine’s brilliant
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Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, poetry, fiction, visual art, and film. A Publishing Triangle Award winner, her books include I'm Afraid of Men, even this page is white, The Boy & The Bindi, and She of the Mountains. Shraya is one half of music duo Too Attached and founder of publishing imprint VS. Books. She teaches creative writing at the ...more
“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”
More quotes…