Poetry Review- Vetiver by librecht baker

It appears as if Ms. baker spells her name in all lower-case letters; so I will respect and honor that in this review!

About the author

librecht baker is a Long Beach, CA writer, English teacher and Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance Ensemble member.


librecht baker’s vetiver pushes back against the dangerous walls that attempt to other out primordial heritage. Code switching and dismantling picket fences are her forte. These 29 poems carry us forward and remind us that the monsters aren’t under our bed and that there’s no single story. She wants you to remember: “the spirit of war is not your spirit,” and that, “when we are surviving, spilling, losing our masks/is when we should be seen.” These poems induce elevation and celebrate cultural memory.


As a black women vetiver spoke to me on many levels. I am not very knowledgable about poetry, but this collection of poetry reminded me of spoken word. I’m guessing that they are similar if not the same. As I read through this book I could picture librecht speaking these powerful words. Although I am not particularly versed on some of the content in these poems, I can feel the energy and the passion.

The first one that really painted the picture of the society we endure as well as the many social justice issues we deal with from day-to-day would be, monsters aren’t under the bed: whiteness and sex. Many of her poems seems to focus on racism, bigotry and oppression; which I think is neccesary. We have to get the words out in some way and everyone has their way of speaking the truth and shouting the pain. I think librecht spoke freely and unapologetically about how if feels to be othered, no matter how smart, successful or rich we are. And reminds us that the monsters are everywhere.

One of my favorites was the poem named after the book; vetiver.

This is a review of my honest opinion of this collection of poetry. From my point of view as someone who does not normally partake in poetry, I would give this collection a 4/5 rating. If you are interesting in poetry and can relate to this kind of work; I would recommend it. Get your copy here!

Happy Reading

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