A Map of Rain Days invites us into the liminal between the nights and the too-bright days. The author navigates a life felt full on, inhabiting all its beauty and shadows the slap-tumble of sex, the mean streets of the suburbs, the swill and gore of youth. Interwoven into this life are the realities of racism, addiction, suicide, rape, and death. And then clarity ensues.
my mother's toes are crooked and curled/in a misguided, arthritic map/of rain day
Jennifer Hosein has established herself as an artist brave enough to harness the full spectrum of the feminine struggle. With her first collection of poems, A Map of Rain Days, she has commanded all of her artistic experience into verse, illuminating the sorrow of loss, the physical ecstasy of love, the horror of abuse, and the strength to heal and make peace with happiness—often within the same work.
— Brandon Pitts
Jennifer Hosein’s poetry is relevant, emotional, evocative, and beautiful. Jennifer’s poetry shows us what it’s like to be a person of colour in Canada without allowing identity to overshadow poetic craft. Her work combines the power of short story with the music of poetry, invoking the ubiquitous human experiences of losing people we love and finding our place in the world. Jennifer Hosein’s debut collection A Map of Rain Days at once illustrates the commonality and alienation that is characteristic of contemporary existence. We know Jennifer as a visual artist, now it is time to meet her as a poet.
— Ivy Reiss
A Map of Rain Days chronicles a life of loves and losses in tender, surreal, striking metaphors that limn a body tattooed with fragments of a life, a body whose “skin” is “opened/like slicing a peach. ” Like “the sweet odour of chocolate,” Jennifer’s poems are rich, sensual with a simplicity that belies dense under-layers of sadness, of love for a mother, a daughter, of memories of an abusive relationship that still scars, of the taunts and cruelties a girl of colour in a white world endures. These haunting poems become like “sparks” that “consume. .. a forest” of contemplation on the ways a life of a contemporary woman is composed. This is a collection to savour.
— Brenda Clews