Official Review: My Real Name is Tyshawn Knight

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Official Review: My Real Name is Tyshawn Knight

Post by ciecheesemeister »

[Following is an official review of "My Real Name is Tyshawn Knight" by Tyshawn Knight.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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My Real Name is Tyshawn Knight is a poetry collection by Tyshawn Knight. This is not a book for those seeking light-hearted verse about sunny days and perfect love. The poems contained in this volume address issues such as physical and sexual abuse, mental illness, and suicide ideation.

The author’s faith plays a strong role in her poetry, helping her cope with the PTSD brought on by the violence that she has endured in her life. Revenge and working towards forgiveness are prevalent themes in this collection. She also writes about what it is like to be a black woman in a society that sees white as right. As she writes in “Dear Chris Rock,”

“No matter what I do I will always be black
Or to be more politically correct
African American.”

As a person who has gone the rounds with both medical doctors for my myriad of physical issues and with mental health professionals due to my own issues with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicide ideation, I found myself resonating with the poem “Healthy People,” which ends with these lines:

“I was just glad to be free
Of all the healthy people trying to heal me.”

The author primarily writes in free verse, although some of the poems do have a rhyme scheme. This is not polished poetry adhering to strict rules. These poems are raw and gritty, which I feel suits them well, given the subject matter that they address.

These works reveal as well how society treats people who have been abused, expecting them to behave normally when they have no experience with what most people consider normal. An abused person expects to be abused and even when the situation does not merit it, such people tend to be hypervigilant, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. These poems reflect the tension and fear that every person who has been abused feels.

It can be difficult to determine whether poetry has been professionally edited because sometimes a poet will use plays on words. I only found one potential error, where the author used the word “bear,” and the correct word is “bare.” The lines are “I bear my breasts to the world; I bear my soul.”

I do not consider this a serious enough error (if it is an error) to deduct a star for it. Thus, I give My Real Name is Tyshawn Knight four out of four stars. There was nothing that I disliked about this book, and I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates gritty, raw poetry that doesn’t hold back from telling it like it is.

My Real Name is Tyshawn Knight
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Post by Sararob06 »

It’s obvious the author was extremely vulnerable in this work. I was moved by the few lines you included. I hope she finds peace in her journey. Thank you for your detailed review!
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Post by Judith Lloy »

This sounds like a powerful and very relevant collection. On one hand I am drawn to it because of my own experience with abuse, PTSD, and poor mental health. But on the other, I always hesitate because sometimes things like this can cause me to relapse. Works like these are so important. People with these kinds of experience need to feel the fellowship of others who can empathize. And people who haven't need to hear our experiences and learn about them so they can support the people they love who have. Thank you for a great review. Is there much profanity in these poems? I have a very difficult time reading things that contain a lot.

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Post by Irene_A »

I love poetry and wouldn't mind reading this, especially because of its rawness. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Reviewer100 »

I like the collection of issues discussed in this book for readers. Particularly the area of sexual abuse.
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Post by AtienoMagero »

Wonderful review! Your review has been helpful and provided me great insight about this poetry book. I like how raw the poetry seems. I also like the fact that the book handles a more realistic subject matter.
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