Wednesday 3 March 2021

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Review: Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill

here Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill

Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill

Published: 18th February 2021 | Publisher: Orion | Source: Bought
Nikita Gill's Instagram

In Where Hope Comes From: poems for a broken world, Instagram superstar and poet Nikita Gill returns to her roots with her most personal collection yet. Sharing a number of poems that she wrote when the world went into lockdown, this collection will include the phenomenal Love in the Time of Coronavirus which was shared across social media over 20,000 times, as well as her poems of strength and hope How to Be Strong and Silver Linings. This collection will be fully illustrated by Nikita with beautiful line-drawings, and moves her into an exciting new space in the market as she tackles themes such as mental health and loneliness. The StoryGraph

With her previous books, Nikita Gill has firmly claimed herself the place of my favourite poet, so when I heard she was releasing another book of poetry, Where Hope Comes From, about living during the coronavirus pandemic, I knew I had to have it. And while I adore Gill's poetry and have been so moved before, I didn't realise just how hard her latest offering would hit.

We're not yet on the otherside of this pandemic, we've not yet made our way through that tunnel, so Where Hope Comes From really effected me. My mental health has taken a number of hits over the past 11 months, and the grief has been so heavy. So reading this book brought everything - which is only really just below the surface, really - right back. Still stuck in this quagmire, Where Hope Comes From is at times really difficult to read, with poem after poem like a sucker punch. But there's something beautiful about someone being able to say what you can't find the words for, and in seeing you're not alone in what you're feeling and experiencing - a theme of the book itself. It's such a personal book in how Gill lays herself bare in talking about the difficulties she experienced through living in a pandemic, but those experiences are experienced by all, and so it's personal to us all.

But, as the title suggests, it's also a book of hope. It's a book of believing there is a way to the otherside, of coming out of this and living life as we once did. It's a book that reminds you of the importance of all the things you took for granted before, of friendship and community and love, but it also reminds you of the things you once thought important but aren't at all. It's a book of new perspectives, or hardship and opened eyes, and how hope can give you the strength and the resilience to keep on going. It's astoundingly beautiful, and achingly raw.

While reading Where Hope Comes From, I was reminded very strongly of being back at school and reading the poems of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, of how their poems written in the trenches during the First World War are studied today to teach us not just about poetry, but about a very specfic period in time, and the experience of those soldiers. I strongly believe Where Hope Comes From will be Gill's equivalent in years to come, of living through the pandemic. She's captured this period of time in poetry, and long after we're all dead, Where Hope Comes From will be there, showing future generations what it was like. She's immortalised this time in history, and I feel because of this, it might just be her most important work yet.

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