In Homecoming Joanna Ezekiel skilfully navigates the past and the present. Childhood remembrances are brought to life by vivid sensory evocations particularly of colour that resonate with the reader. Ezekiel is adept at creating characters both real and imagined. She deploys wit to bring to life the essence of people as diverse as Richard III to Margaret Thatcher. Such poems are subtly and subversively political. ... At times there is an autobiographical focus not just on her childhood but of the realities of her rich cultural heritage that brings both pleasure and discomfort. Here she moves from character to landscapes as diverse as York to Mumbai and in her use of sounds and sights takes us with her. Homecoming seamlessly moves between concrete poems to the more surreal. ... Ezekiel has a talent manifest in Homecoming for writing economical poems that pack a social, political and philosophical punch all beautifully crafted with excellent imagery that is at times delightfully surreal.
Joanna Ezekiel s new collection is a bright bracelet that circles the world, yet ultimately clasps itself tightly to home in its many forms. Around its circuit, each poem is a solid gem, precision cut, with sharp edges and clear surfaces that give way to depths and shadows the closer one looks. And, as with anything of such quality, it will become more valuable still over time, so, Take it: this is yours to keep forever.
These are prismatic poems, sharp and fresh. Reading them is an energising aesthetic experience, precisely suggestive as they are, patterned as music, each poem promising glimpses of the surreal in miniature, the whole collection a big atlas of vivid, local moments.
There's something kaleidescopic about these small but perfectly formed poems, the spin of colours which take the reader from the tea shops and bus shelters of York to the dazzle of India, and back again in the curl of a page. Joanna Ezekiel's writing has the wide-eyed clarity of the photographer combined with a subtle vein of social comment. Each poem tempts and teases, leaving the reader hungry for more.