Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review: Listening to Africa by Diana M. Raab

Listening to Africa

By: Diana M. Raab
Pub. Date: March 18, 2012
Publisher: Antrim House
Pages: 70
Source: Tribute Books blog tour

Poet Diana M. Raab travels to the heart of Africa with her family to experience the beauty and fascination of another world. During her safari, she observes the distress, the delight, and the dignity of the humans and animals who live there and parallels them with her own quest for health.

I don't think I have ever read a book that packed so much emotion into so few pages. This poetry collection, written by Diana M. Raab isn't just about her trip to Africa with her family. The poems are about her healing and what her life and family means to her.

Raab writes about love, family, and healing. The core of her poetry is about her children and her father, but Listening to Africa is about so much more as well.

Seeing the struggles that many people in the world suffer with, she writes how grateful she is to have what she does. She describes how we (meaning Americans) take so much for granted. In one verse she describes how her family is trying to figure out how much they can fit into one suitcase, while others don't even own enough to fill up one suitcase. Listening to Africa really makes you think about what you have.

Within the pages, Raab also included family photos from the trip which I thought added a nice personal touch.

Reading anything poetry is out of my comfort level, but I really enjoyed Listening to Africa. Through her words, I was able to see how much the trip to Africa touched Raab in a way I don't think anything else would have been able too.

Beautifully written and a quick read, I would definitely say that Listening to Africa is worth giving a chance too.

About the Author: 

Diana M. Raab is a memoirist, essayist and poet. She has a B.S. in Health Administration and Journalism, and an RN degree from Vanier College in Montreal, in addition to an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Spalding University’s Low-Residency Program.

Diana has been writing from an early age. As a child of two working parents, she spent a lot of time crafting letters and keeping a daily journal. A journaling advocate and educator, Diana teaches creative journaling and memoir in workshops around the country. She frequently speaks and writes about the healing powers of writing.

She’s the award-winning author of eight books, and the author of over 500 articles and poems. Her release is Writers on the Edge: 22 Writers Speak About Addiction and Depression, co-edited with James Brown, which is a compilation of essays by renowned writers discussing how addiction has influenced their literary lives. She is also editor of Writers and Their Notebooks, a collection of essays written by well-known writers who keep journals.

Raab is the author of two memoirs, Regina's Closet: Finding My Grandmother's Secret Journal, winner of the 2008 National Indie Excellence Award for Memoir and Healing With Words, the 2011 Mom's Choice Award Winner for Adult Nonfiction.

She is also a registered nurse who teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and at various writing workshops across the country. She is the author of four poetry collections, My Muse Undresses Me (2007); Dear Anais: My Life in Poems for You (2008), winner of The Reader Views Award and an Allbooks Review Editor's Choice Award; The Guilt Gene (2009); and Listening to Africa (2012).

Her poetry and prose have appeared in national journals and anthologies such as Rattle, Rosebud, Litchfield Review, Tonopah Review, Writers' Journal, A Cafe in Space, the Toronto Quarterly, Common Ground Review, The Smoking Poet, Snail Mail Review, New Mirage Journal, Lucidity, Blood and Thunder, Jet Fuel Review, Ascent, and The Huffington Post.


  1. Kristina, thanks for the review! :)

  2. I too enjoyed her collection of poems.


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