Review: Firstborn by Sarah Aluko

Welcome back,

On today’s post I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Sarah Aluko’s poetry book. Now this has been a book that I have personally been waiting on for AGES!!! What kept me waiting? Well…that would be my siblings who said they were getting me the book but delayed it till Christmas 2018. Although it took its time actually arriving into my hands, I’m glad that I’ve finally received it. So thank you family and your late timings hahah. I randomly came across Aluko on the explore page of instagram, a year back, and instantly went to see where I could purchase her work. I guess you can say that I was drawn to her words. As always, I’ll give you a short biography on the author and then tell you guys my thoughts/feelings on firstborn. 

Sarah Aluko:

An Nigerian-British poet who speaks voice on womanhood, love, being black and heartbreak. She is well known for shaping culture, especially in youths, as most of her following was built up of young readers. Sarah Aluko has been requested to write commissioned pieces for well known organisations, such as Microsoft, Nasty Women and technology giants. Also, Aluko is known for being listed as part of the Nasty 40; a group of Nasty Boy’s Creative Class 2018, which has been further listed in other brand organisation magazines etc. Now more on the book, Aluko originally published her collection of  firstborn on February 2017.

The Poetry:

firstborn (2017) is a poetry book filled with the notion of self-discovery and a passage of enlightenment as you read through the words which Aluko voices in such simplicity. The book is split into 3 sections: Dusk, Twilight and Dawn. As mentioned previously, Aluko embarks on themes like heartbreak, race, love, feminity and  war of self. I guess I could add that it also portrays itself as a book that teaches. firstborn is filled with multiple illustrations, in relation to the poetry on hand and these have been illustrated by Lola Betiku. I for one was a fan of the illustrations and I think that it helps break up the poetry book from being of the ordinary. Sarah Aluko “appeal[s] to the deepest parts of me” when I flick through the pages. I liked the fact that I could see parts of myself resonating from Aluko’s words and it made it feel much more personal (despite knowing that she wasn’t writing for me per say – but you get the idea). The lengths of every collection varied from one another, from short sentences to long sentences. Aluko’s work has been defined to be a story about a young woman writing her way back to herself – a map to her true inner identity.

If you’re a fan of Rupi Kaur, Rudy Dhal and so on, then I think you’ll also find a liking to Sarah Aluko’s written work. I truly hope to see more of her writing published or be able to listen to her passionate yet motivational words at least.

Here are few of the collections from firstborn that I’ve picked out from the poetry book. To give you a glimpse of some of the words which I personally enjoyed reading and unveiling.


Thank you for reading today’s blog post. If you want to see more of me doing book reviews of my latest/old reads, then just let me know below on the comments section!

Yours Truly,

Melanin Talks x


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