top of page

Brass Neck by Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo

The tag line to Brass Neck describes it as ‘a collection of poetry on the genesis of queerness, sexual deviance and alpha sexual pleasure’ and the poems in the book live up to the loaded description. When I picked up this book it had come highly recommended by a friend and I expected to love it. The truth is I failed to connect to its rhythm and voice. In about 50 poems Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo takes us through a journey of worshiping the body, healing the wounds that the body bears and mourning for the body that have been lost. It is a tumultuous journey because some wounds refuse to heal and are hard to look at. The writer owns the narrative and does a good job of inviting the reader into her world which is unsurprisingly the reality of so many others.

In this anthology Nunoo writes about owning desire, discovering sensuality, belonging, tragedy (childhood and family), tenderness and self love. The words in this collection also summon one to forgive by letting go of the hate and betrayal that we sometimes subject our bodies to. To see it beyond the the eyes of the people who have used it as a punching bag, trash bag and everything that has deterred us from feeding it with love, a love that it deserves.

The title alone paints a picture of confidence and bravery. Some writers and readers alike shy away from the body. In the introduction to this anthology Iya Kimberly states that when reading this book one is reminded of the passion for the body, the connection of our bodies, voices pain and pleasure. This becomes the light of the book for me, that transparency and vulnerability. Despite not having enjoyed it as much as I thought I would, it is the body poetics in this body of work that caught my attention. The intersection of the body and it’s representation and the place of women in that space is constantly evolving.

In ‘Behind Narrow Houses,’ Nunoo paints the awfully familiar picture of sexual violence by a family member, in ‘Graveyards of Silence’ it is a society’s perception of women’s bodies as graveyards of silence for the various injustices inflicted upon them. This is real and we know it because our bodies are viewed as statistics/statistics-in-waiting for rape, femicide and assault (in its various forms). ‘Free Therapy’ takes the reader into a world of a woman who has suffered sexual violence at the hands of various men in what appears to be an intimate context (friends/lovers). It can be a family member, a stranger, a lover or friend and society at large. Nunoo’s message in this context is clear, women are not safe & the perpetrator can be anyone. The continued violence against women is a crisis that deserves all of our attention.

A woman’s body has been used in literature as a metaphor for several things. Nunoo says here, that no matter what has been written, how it has been perceived and used; a woman’s body is real, alive and breathing! It deserves to be loved by the self and others. Some of the poems that bring out this message are ‘Temple,’An Act of Love,’ and ‘More Than Just Memories.’ In these verses one is reminded that this body has desires, it works but also needs pleasure. In this book a woman’s body is seen and it is handled in a satisfying manner. The convergence of sexualities in a language so simple and effective is also another spark to the collection.


Author’s Profile

Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo is a poet and writer from Ghana. She has various short stories and poems that have appeared in several literary magazines and publications. Brass Neck is her debut book, and the winner of the RL Poetry Award 2018.


Book Details

Title: Brass Neck

Author: Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo

Genre: Poetry

Pages: 60

Publisher: RLFPA EDITIONS (Jan 2020)

Where to buy:

Other titles by author:


10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page