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How to Cure a Ghost

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  867 ratings  ·  111 reviews
A poetry compilation recounting a woman’s journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance, confusion to clarity, and bitterness to forgiveness
Following in the footsteps of such category killers as Milk and Honey and Whiskey Words & a Shovel I, Fariha Róisín’s poetry book is a collection of her thoughts as a young, queer, Muslim femme navigating the difficulties of her in
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  867 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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May 16, 2021 rated it liked it
I'm not really someone that reads much poetry so i'm perhaps not the best person to review this.
That being said i found some of these poems to be beautiful and captivating and others were perhaps a bit weaker and left me confused.
There is no doubt however that the poems in How to Cure a Ghost are very personal to the author and came from the heart.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book represents all the tumblr poetry cliches of 2019:

Yes This White Person Really Said This Thing To Me

this time dad, you're wrong

I Don't Give A Fuck About What White People Say To Me

somehow misogynistic dual idolization/tear down of your mother

trauma fetishization

Referring to all women as femmes

assuming mantel of ancestral struggle that has nothing to do with you

sexual mangoes

Beautiful illustrations throughout!
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I think 'loss becomes her' is a standout poem in this collection. I appreciated Róisín's earnest exploration of themes like inter-generational trauma and reconnecting with Islam as a queer Muslim woman, but most of the writing felt cringe-worthy to me. ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
beautiful illustrations... the poetry though.
Lauren Clai Morehead
Tale as old as Milk & Honey: brown women damaged and gaslit by white men in the way only they can do in a relationship context. I’m acutely familiar with that, more times than I’d care to admit, so I couldn’t help but really relate to and enjoy some bits. (So. 2 stars) What this needed was an editor. There were some stanzas and lines that were just not very good and read more like a tumblr rant than a thought-out piece of work. I’m being a bit demeaning in the first sentence since many poems are ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5⭐️, rounded up to 4.I don’t read a lot of poetry & am therefore not comfortable writing an in depth review. But what’s important is I enjoyed this work! Fariha Róisín uses her poems as a way to speak about what it’s like to navigate the terrain of colonialism in a brown, queer, Muslim body. I learned new things & I found moments that resonated with me. I recommend for fans of Fatimah Asghar’s If They Come For Us.
Asia J
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5* stars. this book ripped my heart out of my body, put it in my hands, and said “okay now do something about it.” in the best possible way.
Fida Islaih
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
These poems are about experiences as an immigrant and Muslim. They were heartbreaking, beautiful and empowering. Some pieces made me feel seen. Many more told much needed stories that people need to know. Other reviews said it better: it packed a punch and asked me to hold my heart.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
This collection just didn't do it for me. Though some of them I did find moving and poignant, those few did not make up for most of the collection. ...more
Couldn't connect with these as much as I have with other poetry collections. ...more
Farina Roisin lacks maturity in these poems.

It's fine to "find" yourself, but you can't blame the white people. I myself am white, and I've never met her, nor harmed her in any way. Blaming the "bad white folk" is the same type of discrimination that Roisin herself rails against in this book.

Some of these poems are quite lovely, and I appreciate the poem about The Keepers, as my own family has suffered sexual abuse from the Catholic Church, but rather than rising above such stereotypes she emb
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
To be completely honest, so far I find myself finding bits and pieces of her works that are really nice; complimentary in a way. Though, I feel like they drag on too long?? Majority of her works are completely killed by unnecessary cringe worthy instagram lines. I truly felt as if it fell short of what it was promised to be.
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
Felt like this needed to be personal essays more than poetry.
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2019
There's some really beautiful poetry in here. A lot of it hit me really hard—Fariha Roisin is not afraid to pack a punch, but there are also some really beautiful poems about self-love and empowerment.

Also thank you to the person who reviewed this and mentioned 'sexual mangoes' as a poetry cliche. This is how I will judge all poetry collections from now.
Feb 02, 2021 added it
I found I was not able to put this book down when I found it in a bookshop earlier this week. Fariha Roisin’s words combined with gorgeous detail by Monica Ramos and design by Diane Shaw is eye-catching and demands to be heard.

Roisin writes about identity, about trauma, and about finding the balance of yourself between the elements of family and culture. I found her writing to be raw, but also soft enough to gently draw out the words into a series of beautiful poems. Watching Roisin try to find
Manar M
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
loved & related to the themes of the poems, but disliked the style.
The Bibliophile
Dec 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
Not for me.. I don’t really care for when people preach through the guise of poetry..
I really enjoyed this - there were so many lines that made me laugh, and too many that I related to. Roisin is so honest and it really made me stop and reflect. She surprised me and I think that's one of the best things you can probably do, especially as a debut author. This kind of reminded me of Milk and Honey, but with more depth that I was looking for when I first read Kaur's work. I'm definitely looking forward to more from Roisin. ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know what it is about it but this selection just spoke to me. It has some poems that feel intimate and special, like they were made for me, and that’s what I like about it. It sounds kind of selfish but I like that someone who isn’t Muslim, queer, or a POC won’t get what some poems mean. And I think that’s really important because as a young person who identifies with Roísin, it feels good to be seen. So thank you for writing this selection of things our community needed to read.
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Stunning debut from a Muslim, queer, femme poet. She writes about how it feels to have your existence attacked, undermined and overlooked by political institutions, the everyday man and the people around you. She writes about the experience of living in a world that puts so many constraints on you and the pain that comes with it. She also explores how self-love is an essential tool in healing from your past traumas and moving forward on your own terms. She has a beautiful writing style and a gre ...more
Micki Boden
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This isn’t a flowery, fluffy book of poetry. It’s very raw and intense and lovely in its wit. My favorites were “Golden Lube,” “Mansplain Nation,” “Rumi,” “This One’s with Teeth,” “What 9/11 Did to Us,” and “Belonging.”
May 23, 2021 rated it liked it
A mix of brilliant verses and tumblr poems...I feel that if this were more condensed, without the filler tumblr-esque poetry, it would be a true gem. It's as if someone put two poetry books together for some reason. But the good parts are gut wrenchingly good. ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this book validated all the feelings of self-loathing i’ve felt but also slapped me in the face with shouts to make changes in a good way for myself and myself alone.
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
Kendall Jenner was spotted reading this book.

Jun 06, 2021 rated it liked it
How to cure a Ghost is left me feeling very ambivalent, some poems gave me goosebumps, they felt true and vulnerable and strong while some others felt like they were written by a 13 year old angry person on tumblr. Unlearning and 1971 were my favorite poems in this collection.
May 10, 2021 rated it did not like it
A few poems are touching, and deep - I especially enjoyed those in which she talked about her relationship with her own faith. The illustrations also add a nice touch and bring depth to certain themes discussed in the poetry collection.
With that being said, most of the poems just end up lacking maturity and falling into every single postmodern poetry cliche imaginable. 90% of them look like something you could easily find on Tumblr a couple of years ago.
The underdeveloped metaphors along with
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up when searching for some contemporary poetry in B&N on a whim. The title and cover art drew me in, and I'm glad I found it.

Wonderfully written and at times heartbreaking poems on love, heritage, relationships, abuse, and war. Roísín documents her journey to overcoming lessons of self-hate and the aspects of her intersectionality.
Ai Miller
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
This wasn't super my jam, but I did find the forwardness of Róisín's poems to be somewhat refreshing. Róisín works heavily in the abstract which is maybe why I struggled with some of these, but I think it's still definitely worth picking up and reading, even if just to establish that you have a sense of taste in poetry (which is what I discovered reading this!) ...more
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
"Could it be that those who see things more clearly are also those who feel and suffer the most?"-Clarice Lispector

"Mansplain Nation
whenever i see you
you explain things to me
taunting- as if you have
the right answer

hidden beneath your
low-hanging fruit
what you know
or don't know

are indistinguishable.
lips pursed,
you question others' sincerity
insincerely, but never your own.

why is that, white man?
'you once told me
that you're not a feminist,
you know?'

using it as a weapon, like
'how wo
Sofia Mohamed
Jun 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
"alone, like a turd on the side of the road, abandoned"

Disclaimer: I know fucking NOTHING about poetry, so take this with a grain of salt.

Ahhhh ok some mixed feelings. There's definitely some filler, and 'tumblr' poetry energy. Random breaks and indentations are used for seemingly no effect. I understand her anger about white people, particularly white men, but it often felt like some poems had the same idea, conveyed in another uninspiring way. She's clearly passionate about political issues,
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