ARC Review – The First Free Women by Matty Weingast

ARC-review-4

Poetry, Buddhism| 128 pages | 02.11.2020 | Shambhala Publications

4 STARS


35This is a new translation of poems by the first Buddhist nuns. This translation feels special.  It comes from the heart rather than being a technical one. I have not read any other versions of these poems but I deeply connected with Weingast’s interpretations. The poetry in these pages is spellbinding.  Not just because it is an incredible historical witness account but also because it is inspiringly raw, emotional, and feminist. These women came from all walks of life – mothers, trophy wives, and prostitutes just to name a few – and their journeys are reflected in this collection. Their words do not sugar-coat their struggle. The women aren’t hiding their pasts. Instead, they build on it and share their paths and their growth with us, the readers. Yet, they don’t just present the solution. No, …. that one is found in between the lines, hidden among allegories and metaphors, experienced through their word choices and emotional undertones of the poems themselves. Even if you don’t identify with their religion, The First Free Women are all of us. I dare you to tell me you cannot relate to at least a single poem in this book!


I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this poetry collection in exchange for an honest review.

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