A Sliver of a Chance: Insights and Observations of a Canadian Immigrant by Brian Sankarsingh

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Pub date October 14, 2020

ISBN 978-1525590559

Price $14.99 (USD) paperback, $30 Hardcover, $6.20 Paperback

Author interview

In this exuberant debut, Sankersingh weaves a collection of poems around the complex themes of racism, colonialism, class disparity, and immigration. “Say their names!” is dedicated to Black people and People of Colour and poignantly and disturbingly examines systemic racism (“They shot Stephon eleven times/ On reports of a break in./ Though they said he had a gun, / Oddly they just couldn’t find one.”). “A Poisonous Tree” precisely explores the emotional intensity of the individual immigrant experience as they confront the fear and alienation accompanying the big dream of making a better life in a foreign nation. In the title poem, “A Sliver of a Chance,” Sankarsingh suggests there’s not much an immigrant requires to keep them going: “A sliver is all I need/ To know me, /Heal me, /Help me as I crave. /To hold me, /Guide me, / Keep me from the grave.”  “Pandemic 2020” explores the year 2020 as COVID-19 consume the thoughts and actions of the entire world. In “The Future,” Sankarsingh examines the intensity with which the online world of social media has insinuated itself into the workplace, home life, politics, and everywhere else. One of Sankarsingh’s strengths as a poet is his ability to approach grim subjects without hesitation or pretense. Most of the poems concentrate on moments of universal despair and loneliness that accompany every immigrant experience, but the mood never stays too dark for long. This is a winning collection.

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