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Photo by Sydney Brown

Shauna Barbosa's 'Cape Verdean Blues' Is a Poetic Exploration Of Movement & Cultural Inheritance

We spoke with the Cape Verdean-American author about the experiences that helped shape her stunning literary debut.

The reason we are where we are now is due to the movement of those who came before us.

For children of immigrants, movement—or the act of leaving one place for another—is the root of our cultural identities; the sole reason why some of us identify as Liberian-American, British-Ugandan and for others, Swedish-Eritrean. Shauna Barbosa, a poet born in Boston to an African-American mother and Cape Verdean father, captures the journeys of her parents and the unique upbringing which came about as a result in her stunning literary debut, Cape Verdean Blues.

Growing up in Boston she was physically surrounded by the culture and customs of each of her parents—her extended family on both sides lived on different floors of the same townhouse. These ultraspecific, yet familiar childhood experiences fostered her knack for writing at an early age. Each experience surfacing once again in Cape Verdean Blues.

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