Between wordplay and wisdom, between lip and tongue—Rosebud Ben-Oni’s SOLECISM is reminiscent of the wordplay, tone and tenor of Harryette Mullen, yet Ben-Oni clearly owns her sole voice, her own edgy distinction and strong sense of sound. In this body of work, Ben-Oni is the dark bird— that sparrow, singing.
--Marian Haddad, Author of Somewhere Between Mexico and a River Called Home and Wildflower. Stone.
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Rosebud Ben-Oni’s debut collection SOLECISM derives its strength from its understanding that borders are merely lines meant for crossing. In this way, both she and her collection’s boldness burns through, bending us close, asking us to step over and listen to stories that for so long have been told “by mouth only,/…[ stories not held] in such /Rigid restraints.” This collection reminds us there is no such thing as the voiceless— only the ignored… There is a great fierceness in these poems that is balanced with just the right amount of tenderness. I look forward to a world filled with more Rosebud Ben-Oni poems.
–Andre Yang, Co-Founder of Hmong American Writers Circle and Co-Editor of How Do I Begin
REVIEWS of SOLECISM
The Rumpus - "Solecism is a smart, self-aware, and beautifully written book of poetry—a wonderful debut from a talented new writer."
Bookslut - "Ben-Oni...explores cultural trespassing in the midst of a multicultural atmosphere whose rigid categories create a dizzying and disorienting sense of exclusion for the speakers of these poems..."
HTML Giant - "Yours Truly looks forward to her future work, to see it continue to navigate the twisting flux of her coexistent identities, to see which directions it takes her.
The Fourth River - "The imagery in Solecism is striking, often startlingly; the voices are unafraid to speak challenging truths... Ben-Oni’s work bears poetic witness of places both dangerous and real. The poems tap at the reader’s social conscience and heart; a tapping that continues long after the book’s covers have been closed."
Praise for SOLECISM
Where Ben-Oni finally lands pales beside how she sees the world through her tongue. The journey is all. And if you find yourself "unborn again... twitching in sin" or 'tasting toadstools' and singing the 'discordant dark', then you too may revel in that forbidden space of SOLECISM, reaping poetry from "what remains of the unruly wilds."
--Amy King, Author of I Want to Make You Safe and I’m the Man Who Loves You
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Ben-Oni dares us to wade in the currents of wrenching observations and hard-won epiphanies. These brazen, keen explorations are lit by intriguing desires that mirror and unearth our own, fueled by a deft imagination and wielding of language that rings deeply true. The world needs these tough angel anthems.
--Kamilah Aisha Moon, Author of She Has A Name
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In Rosebud Ben-Oni’s debut collection of poems Solecism, language, identity, sexuality, race, and culture coalesce, but not until after a succession of clashes from which emerges what Yeats might call “a terrible beauty” being born. Her poems confront the darker side of multi-culturalism, the vertiginous disorientation of being neither this nor that, neither here nor there, essentially being exiled in her own homelands. Ultimately, it’s Ben-Oni’s lyricism and vulnerability that give her poems their grace and power, and we are all the better because of them.
–Alexander Long, Author of Still Life (White Pine Press Poetry Prize), Vigil and Light Here, Light There