poetry

ARC Review of peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

peluda1

peluda1

peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

Publication Date: September 26, 2017.

Publisher: Button Poetry.

Genres: Poetry, Hispanic American, and Family.

Rating: 587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png

Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository 

Synopsis: One of the most original performance poets of her generation, Melissa Lozada-Oliva has captivated crowds across the country and online with her vivid narratives. Humorous and biting, personal and communal, self-deprecating and unapologetically self-loving, peluda (meaning “hairy” or “hairy beast”) is the poet at her best. The book explores the relationship between femininity and body hair as well as the intersections of family, class, the immigrant experience, Latina identity, and much more, all through Lozada-Oliva’s unique lens and striking voice. peluda is a powerful testimony on body image and the triumph over taboo.

galaxyreview

Thank you, Button Poetry, for my ARC of peluda. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

I have fallen in love with the poetry collection peluda and for me, what makes peluda such a unique poetry collection is how brutally honest and charismatic it is. It’s funny, deep, and a must-read for contemporary poetry lovers. peluda is feminist and about body hair, family, friendship, Latina identity, and the immigrant experience. I believe poetry collections about, and written by, women of color should be celebrated, and this collection is no exception.

jessica jones is so dark-haired she must be Latina
i pretend she is so that i am
not once again rooting for some angry white girl

so i tell myself that
all of this throwing a heater out of the window
must be chingona
all of this rude lonely girl must be bruja
all of this breaking & entering & you shoot at me,
i’ll pull the bullet out of my ruined jacket &
shove it up your ass with my pinky finger
must be mujerista

I love how Melissa Lozada-Oliva puts everything on the page and it just speaks to you. The writing in peluda is magnificent and I love the vivid imagery in Lozada-Oliva’s poems. The rhythm and overall way she portrays her experiences, it’s just my favorite. Furthermore, I also love how this book is not afraid to shy away from the speaking its truth, no matter what that is. My favorite poems in this collection are 1) Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe She Got Up Early 2) Ode To Brown Girls With Bangs 3) AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do? 4) The Women In My Family Are Bitches 5) I Shave My Sister’s Back Before Prom and 6) We Play Would You Rather at the Galentine’s Party.

on our own til infinity! bitches
the vengeful violent
pissed prissed and polished
lipstick stained on an envelope
i’ll be damned if i’m compliant! bitches

If you love contemporary poetry then you need to read peluda. It will speak to your heart and take you on a journey few other poetry collections will. This book celebrates Latina women and their experiences, it touches on what body hair and our relationship to it is and how it looks so differently for different people. This book is feminist, badass, and beautiful. I’m deeply in love with peluda and I know you won’t regret putting it in your shopping cart. It’s a must-read for all poetry lovers.

signature9

Advertisements

Review of Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

depressionandothermagictricks1.png

depressionandothermagictricks1.jpg

Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

Publication Date: August 8, 2017.

Publisher: Button Poetry.

Genres: Poetry, Nonfiction, and Mental Health.

Rating: 587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png

Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository 

Synopsis: Depression & Other Magic Tricks is the debut book by Sabrina Benaim, one of the most-viewed performance poets of all time, whose poem “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” has become a cultural phenomenon with over 5,000,000 views. Depression & Other Magic Tricks explores themes of mental health, love, and family. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of daily life and of living. Benaim’s wit, empathy, and gift for language produce a work of endless wonder.

galaxyreview

Thank you, Button Poetry, for my ARC of Depression & Other Magic Tricks. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

The poetry collection Depression & Other Magic Tricks is amazing and captivated me from start to finish. It is a book about depression, anxiety, love, and heartbreak. However, I have to mention that based on the synopsis and title I expected the book to be more about mental health and less about romance and heartbreak, which took up a large part of the collection. I don’t mind poems about romance and heartbreak but I did find this collection to give another impression before I started it.

anxiety is the cousin visiting
from out of town
depression felt obligated to
bring to the party.
mom, i am the party.
only, i am a party i don’t want to be at.

My favorite poems in the collection are explaining my depression to my mother a conversation, on releasing light, so my friend tells me she identifies as a mermaid…, sevens small ways in which i loved myself this week, and follow-up a prayer / a spell. There is something absolutely magical about these poems and a few of these have become my all-time favorites. The poems in this collection are well written and beautiful. In comparison to a lot of other contemporary poetry collection I’ve read the poems in Depression & Other Magic Tricks are a bit longer which I thoroughly enjoyed. At times, more depth was achieved because of it.

i held hands,
with my sadness,
sang it songs in the shower,
fed it lunch,
got it drunk
& put it to bed early.

If you want a poetry collection that deals with depression, anxiety, romance, and heartbreak then this collection is a perfect fit. I felt that this book really dealt with mental health in a genuine, respectful and relatable way. Depression & Other Magic Tricks is truly a book to put on your radar if you love contemporary and diverse poetry.

signature9

Review of When We Wonder by Fatima AlSuwaidi

whenwewonder1.png

whenwewonder1.jpg

When We Wonder by Fatima AlSuwaidi

Publication Date: November 11, 2016.

Publisher: Blurb.

Genres: Poetry.

Rating: 587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png

Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository 

Synopsis: When We Wonder is a journey through
love and pain,
hurt and healing.
This collection of poetry and prose explore the different aspects of self-struggle and self-discovery,
and all the things that make us wonder.

galaxyreview

Thank you, Fatima AlSuwaidi, for my review copy of When We Wonder. I received this review copy in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion.

When We Wonder has become one of my favorite poetry collections. This book manages to say so much with so little words and there is no doubt in my mind about the fact that When We Wonder deserves endless success and a spot among the more well-known poetry authors currently sporting their names on the bestseller lists. What I love about this poetry collection is that the poems are relatable, beautiful, and will sweep you away.

I fall in love with the idea of people
The ones I created in my head
I create them
With all the things I want them to be
And all the things I want them to tell me
And I fall in and out of love with the idea of them

When We Wonder is easy to read, draws you and it’s just what I look for in poetry. The writing is concise and to the point, and that’s what makes it so good. The book is about love, pain, struggling, and self-discovery while it at the same time also takes you on a journey. I think anyone will be able to find multiple poems in the collection that speaks to them. Moreover, I love how When We Wonder incorporate space and nature into a few of the poems through vivid and beautiful metaphors that feel modern and on point.

Sunsets;
is the universe showing it’s talents
It’s the way it holds the brush
The way it chooses the colors
And the way it paints

I recommend When We Wonder to all contemporary poetry lovers out there. This is a collection by an author of color is one you don’t want to miss out on or overlook. It’s without a doubt a perfect collection that shows you the best and the worst of love, sadness, and self-growth.

I am an ocean
A whole universe is in my head

I am more than the bruises on my skin
I’m more than the bags under my eyes

signature9

Review of Now You Can See by Jessica L. Tate

nowyoucansee1

nowyoucansee1.jpg

Review of Now You Can See by Jessica L. Tate

Publication Date: April 25, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: Poetry, Nonfiction, and Themes & Styles.

Rating: 587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: Author Jessica Sankiewicz makes her poetry debut with a compilation of poems from her twentieth year. Now You Can See tells the story of a young woman caught between two worlds and her journey to reach some sort of clarity.

galaxyreview

Thank you, Jessica L. Tate, for my review copy of Now You Can See. I received this review copy in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion.

Now You Can See is a poetry collection about love, heartbreak, conflicted feelings, realization, and moving on from it all. This book is a good collection of poetry and I recommend it for readers who enjoy both contemporary poetry and the themes this collection explores. However, Now You Can See didn’t work as well for me. When I read the synopsis for this poetry collection I expected something completely different from what I got. I expected a book about self-discovery, growth, an emotional and/or physical journey with a focus on the protagonist of the story and not a relationship. I thought as a 21-year-old I would learn something (or at least relate to) from the protagonist and the journey she supposedly went through during her twentieth year. That was not the case.

19. Obviously the End of the Line

We feed off each other’s insecurities
We don’t even like each other
Have no reason to like each other
Except for the fact that no one else
Really cares about us anymore
We have nobody but each other
So let’s attach ourselves, never let go
There’s no other security left

Now You Can See is about a complex relationship that has ended. At times, it seems sweet and at times I felt alarmed over how co-dependent the people in the relationship seemed to be and how I just wanted the protagonist to realize she deserved so much better. In that aspect, I definitely think the poetry collection comes back full circle and delivers a satisfying ending. If you have ever been through a brutal breakup, then Now You Can See will probably speak to you a lot.

Because all I feel for you now is pity
Because you proved your lie of love
You showed who you really were
I’m glad to know because it releases me
From guilt when I move on
To someone better than you

I felt that the writing shifted, some poems were definitely stronger and better written the others but all in all it worked and will satisfy readers looking for a quick read that will still make them think a little extra. I recommend Now You Can See to poetry readers looking for a collection that is about heartbreak and unsuccessful relationships. It’s a quick read with simple language, and I can see a lot of people enjoying it.

signature9

Everything You Need To Know About Reading Contemporary Poetry (with 40+ Recommendations)

Hi, galaxy travelers and book readers! Today is all about poetry, contemporary poetry to be exact. Have you been wanting to read poetry, especially contemporary poetry, but have no idea where to start or what books to read? Look no further, I’m here to help. Let’s start with the definition of poetry if you’re a newcomer to the subject.

Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language — such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre — to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning (Wikipedia).

First of all, here are some quick facts that are good to remember about poetry. The thing about poetry is that it’s an art form you can consume in any way you like. There are poetry collections about love, about nature, self-growth and so much more. There are long poems, short poems, poems written in the form of a sonnet, haiku or in free verse. The possibilities when it comes to poetry are endless. What I personally love about poetry is the fact that I find them easy to read and that the really great ones have both inspired me and made me take a deeper look at myself and my life to relate to what is being said on the page. That’s why I prefer contemporary poetry over older poetry because it feels that much easier to relate to. Because of this, I have a couple of contemporary poetry collection recommendations for you all.

To make it easier to navigate the recommendations I’ve marked the books written by LGBTQIA+ authors with () and authors of color with (). I have marked my personal favorites with () and the free ones are marked with (ツ).

poetrycollectionp1

The first six poetry collections I have to recommend you are,

Continue Reading ➞

Review of The Secrets I Keep by Alex Casso

thesecretsikeep3

thesecretsikeep1.jpg

The Secrets I Keep by Alex Casso

Publication Date: May 23, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: Poetry and Abuse.

Rating: 587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: The Secrets I Keep is a poetry collection about mental illness, as well as child abuse and the lingering effects it has. Through it, Alex Casso bares their soul and proves that, despite everything, they are a force to be reckoned with.

About the author: Alex Casso is a bi aroace-spec and nonbinary SFF author and poet. They spend most of their time playing videogames or listening to podcasts like The Adventure Zone and MBMBaM. They’re also a baby DM for an amazing D&D group and enjoy making their players suffer (in all of the best ways).

You can find them on Twitter and Patreon!galaxyreview

Thank you, Alex Casso, for my review copy of The Secrets I Keep. I really appreciate you sending it to me!

The Secrets I Keep is a beautiful poetry collection with 24 poems about abuse and mental illness. This collection is a fast read with poems that will really capture your attention. It’s a collection that’s heart touching and empowering. The poetry collection tells a story about surviving abuse and the strength that exists within the survive. The style of the poems in The Secrets I Keep is one I love and my two favorite poems from the collection are the following.

if my words bring joy to others
then maybe
one day
my words will bring joy to me too

– doubt

words catch in my throat
coated by the poison you left behind
but my voice is strong
i am powerful
and one day
i will roar

– im not ready yet and that’s okay


I recommend this collection if you want to read a poetry collection that is easy to read, deals with a serious topic that’s also very important. The Secrets I Keep is a raw collection that will grab you and hold you tight, take you through a journey and end on a note that is fresh and hopeful.

signature9

Review of Cold Sober by Theresa Sopko (Poetry Collection)

coldsober3

coldsober1.jpgCold Sober by Theresa Sopko

Publication Date: April 21, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: Poetry and Love Poems.

Rating: 587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png587264602.png

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: A girl with no plan to fall in love realizes there is no choice in the matter.

Cold Sober is a delicate and organic collection of poems that chart the journey from skepticism to fulfillment. With the genuine tone of somebody discovering love and navigating a relationship for the first time, it is impossible not to feel the surprising wonder as you turn each page. Sopko’s words are a slowly blooming bud, taking readers from apprehension and distance to trust and intimacy. Cold Sober asks all of the questions, addresses all of the fears, and acknowledges all of the beauty within the perfect storm that is falling in love.

galaxyreview

Thank you, Theresa Sopko, for my review copy of Cold Sober. I received this review copy in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion.

Cold Sober is a beautiful poetry collection about love and everything related to it from beginning to end. I really love that we were taken on a journey in this collection and how it really came full circle with the last poem referring back to the first one in a really beautiful way. The poetry collection Cold Sober is filled with imagery that is clear and to the point and I think if you’re someone who likes simpler poetry this collection is really recommended. There were several poems that spoke to me, but two of my favorites are PET PEEVE and IN TONGUES. However, there were truly a lot of gems in this collection.

PET PEEVE

I am wary of the
Strings attached to kindness.

The last thing I want is to be
Indebted to a person, stuck in a magic lamp
Until I’ve given the perceived equivalence

No one’s going to wish your freedom
So don’t put it into another’s hands.

The more poetry I read the more I enjoy the wide range of different poems and poetry collections that exist. Cold Sober is about love, the feeling of expectations in the beginning of a relationship, and intimacy. The purest form of love, where everything is electric even when two people are barely touching each other. I really appreciated that. If you want to read about love, Cold Sober is an excellent choice.

IN TONGUES

Our love language is sarcasm.

signature9