“Naked” by Mimi Mutesa & Selvi M. Bunce – Reviewed by Capri Huffman

Photo by Mimi Mutesa

4 stars

Naked: the honest musings of 2 brown women is a wide-ranging and fearlessly vulnerable collection of poetry by Mimi Mutesa and Selvi M. Bunce on everything from race to love, family to mental health, accompanied by lovely illustrations by Mutesa. In different sections, it explores the complexities of having multiple identities, the struggles of growing up, the journey to finding love and self-love, and more. While most poems are free verse, each reflects a true poet’s intentionality with words, rhythm, and structure, and the wide-ranging poetic styles explored create an enjoyably varied reading experience. The choice not to attribute each poem to any one author creates a unified voice throughout the collection, as well as a hint of enigma, and is a testament to the friendship between Mutesa and Bunce. 

With its wide range of topics, this collection truly has something for everyone. Any woman of color who has felt out of place in the world will see herself in the sections Gold and We Birds, We Cannot Fly, while the longest section Igneous Heart will be relatable to anyone who has been through the gauntlet of modern relationships. Though each section has its own strengths, my favorite is Sun & Moon, which is chock-full of beautiful imagery and turns of phrase and encourages readers to, despite everything, love the world and themselves. 

The dedication says it all: this book is perfect for anyone ‘bad, brown, and brazen’.

Interested in purchasing NAKED? Use this link! https://linktr.ee/Brownandbrazen

My name is Capri Huffman and I run a book-themed Instagram (@sobstorybooks) with my friend Gabby, reviewing and promoting books by LGBTQ and BIPOC authors. My goal with my new book review series here at Mixed Mag is the same: to help great books by marginalized authors find the audiences they deserve! I follow new releases from all genres, from YA to literary fiction to poetry, so I’m sure together we’ll find some great titles to suit any taste. 

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