“These words feel like experiences. Some are personal, most are enlightening, but all
connect. Connect on a higher level. A spiritual level.” –Kendrick Lamar
Shauna Barbosa is a Boston-raised poet whose debut poetry collection “Cape Verdean Blues” is making waves in the literary world. She is currently embarking on her “Cosmic Journey Tour,” where she will appear in Los Angeles, New York City and Boston. For the New York City leg of the tour, Barbosa will share her poetry at 61 Local on 61 Bergen St., hosted by Books Are Magic, on April 2.
The speaker in “Cape Verdean Blues” is an oracle walking down the street. Barbosa interrogates encounters and the weight of their space. Grounded in bodily experience and the phenomenology of femininity, this collection provides a sense of Cape Verdean identity.
It uniquely captures the essence of “Sodade,” a ballad popularized by singer Cesaria Evora, as it refers to the Cape Verdean American experience, and also the nostalgia and self-reflection one navigates through relationships lived, lost and imagined. Its layers of unusual imagery and sound hold the reader in their grip.
Barbosa’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Virginia Quarterly Review, the Awl, Colorado Review, No Tokens Journal, the Atlas Review, PANK and others. She received her MFA from Bennington College.