In this affecting poetry debut, Charif Shanahan explores what it means to be fully human in our wounded and divided world. In poised yet unrelenting lyric poems, Shanahan—queer and mixed-race—confronts the challenges of a complex cultural inheritance, informed by colonialism and his mother’s immigration to the US from Morocco, navigating racial constructs, sexuality, circle of relatives, and the globe searching for “who we are to one another . . . who we are to ourselves.”
With poems that weave from Marrakesh to Zürich to London, through history to the current day, this book is, on its surface, an uncompromising exploration of identity in personal and collective terms. Yet the gathering is, most deeply, about intimacy and love, the inevitability of human separation and the challenge of human connection. Urging us to reexamine our own place within the broader human tapestry, Into Each and every Room We Enter without Knowing announces the coming of a powerful and important new voice.