Journal of Writing & Environment

Book Review: “TwERK” by Latasha N. Nevada Diggs

By Latasha N. Nevada Diggs

Belladonna Press, 2013
$15 paper, ISBN 978-0-9885399-0-7

reviewed by Xavier Cavazos

Douglas Kearney’s cover design well fits Latasha N. Diggs new book of poems, TwERK: just as his design is composed of bright contrasting color, so too are Diggs’ poems, with multiple languages and contrasting syntax and line breaks and breath and rhythm.

Diggs is interested in many languages delivered as one universal tongue. She has published three chapbooks and has shared the stage with world heavyweights of song and verse and screen, and is now ready to claim her own title as poetic heavyweight. Diggs mixes Japanese with pop culture; Spanish with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Maori English and Samoan with “Che Fong’s Bungalow;” all with an abstract eye intertwined with a plausible narrative.

Truly an original voice!! And she doesn’t ignore nature and the natural world in favor of urban meditation. In the poem “My first Black Nature Poem,” Diggs celebrates the pain and ecology of the Bronx River:

“the Bronx River is said to be clean: we care about clean.
a month before, two boys drowned in the Bronx River.
a week after, a boy jumps into it unfazed.”

One river. One ocean. One voice. Unfazed, is what Latasha N Diggs communicates with her poems. Unfazed by the world’s hatred. Unfazed by love, by life, by animals, by relationships, by language, by fashion, by the world constructed in TwERK! Don’t be square!!

Diggs you all!