The Day of My First Driving Lesson
by Tiel Aisha Ansari
Scheduled Release Date: Jan 21, 2021
A Poetry Box Chapbook Prize Winner – 1st Place
The Day of My First Driving Lesson was written in the wake of the author’s parents’ deaths. It is a deeply moving poetic memoir celebrating her parents and the tremendous impact they had on her life. Ansari explores themes of growing up as an expatriate, bereavement, grief, and celebration in this non-traditional collection inspired by a workshop taught by Penelope Scambly Schott.
“I was learning to be the hero of my own story. This line from the poem “1975” could be the anthem for this powerful chapbook that traces the story of the poet’s family, an odyssey ranging from coast to coast in the United States, to Tanzania, and beyond. Alternating plainspoken narrative with vivid imagery, the poems also range through time, building a kaleidoscopic view of this interracial family’s life, challenges, inevitable aging, and the strong bonds that hold them together even beyond grief. The Day of My First Driving Lesson is a rare love letter to good parents and the legacy of compassion they leave behind.”
—Amy Miller, Contest Judge, 2020
and author of The Trouble with New England Girls
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