Like a Viewfinder with overlapping reels, Safia Jama examines the way inherited trauma--her parents and brother fleeing military dictatorship in Somalia--can overlay the present day: "when my husband and I parted/ways, it seemed natural to me to pacck, as if, for a day trip/telling no one save two friends." As a new life comes into focus, the speaker of the poems turns her attention to the tiny theater of "my small room"--"gazing out the window: I call it windowing" and marveling at bathroom mold that looks like Charles Bronson. The poems in Crowded House captivatingly delve into the complexities of the self and what constitutes home. -- Matthea Harvey.
Safia Jama uses the poetic line in "weird combinations of extravagance/and asceticism" to unearth new glimpses of why human beings act--and dream--as they do. - Sandra Lim
Safia Jama's Crowded House is a simmering debut... - Danika Kelly
In her recuperation of the house as an organizing conceit, Jama demonstrates what..Gaston Bachelard might describe as "the topography of our intimate being;" she interrogates photographs and moments recalled, experienced in her apartment, "the house" is populated by specters, spirits living in relation to our speaker, agents each that urge reconsideration of our world, conditioning her observation and sensibilities.- Joey De Jesus