A Poetry Book Society Winter 2018 Recommendation
Hate was easy, loving was hard, hate lay down
like a rotten fruit but loving needs to be nurtured.
Roy McFarlane’s second poetry collection, The Healing Next Time, is a timely and unparalleled book of interwoven sequences on institutional racism, deaths in custody and of a life story set against the ever-changing backdrop of Birmingham at the turn of the millennium. Here forms a potent and resolute narrative in lyrical and multidimensional poems which refuse to look the other way or accept the whitewashed version of events.
Courageous, rageful and mournful, these are poems of Black history and Black presence, poems of witness and poems of activism. McFarlane’s intricate lines make record of injustice and mark the names of those who have lost their lives and dignity to prejudice and hatred. The Healing Next Time also asks vital questions of the future, and of the reader – and reminds us where the power to change things lies. It is also a poetry of personal discovery, of revelation and resilience – where the influence of Jazz and of James Baldwin infuse and shape this unique, remarkable book.