Poetry Review: A Graceless & Flourishing Heart (2023)

poetry review

A Graceless & Flourishing Heart by Lauren Eve

I’ve been looking forward to reading Lauren Eve’s work for a while now and I was so flattered when she asked me to read an ARC of her collection! Oh my gosh, it’s so pretty. Not just the gorgeous poems, but it’s aesthetically pleasing, too. And the photography complements the poetry in a really lovely way. A E S T H E T I C S, yanno? *chef’s kiss*

It’s so hard to pick a favourite poem in here because so many of them stood out to me and I would probably quote almost every poem (!), but honestly there’s so much to like about these poems from start to finish. I shall settle for sharing this one:

Gold and purple beads scattered
on the sidewalk of New Orleans
abandoned cocktail glasses
left in that hipster bar in Zurich
a forgotten paperback half
in the sands of Como’s beach
remnants of us remain
everywhere but here.

Overall I found this to be a lovely debut by a new poet and this is definitely a book fellow poetry fans should check out! I can’t wait to read Eve’s next book!

Thank you to the author for an ARC.

Poetry Review: Love Lost and Found (2022)

poetry review

Love Lost And Found by E.M. McConnell

Love does not need to be
Performed on a stage
For hungry watchers
With gleaming eyes
And emptied hearts

This is my introduction to E.M. McConnell’s poetry and it definitely won’t be my last! These poems are well crafted, moving and thoughtful, focusing largely on deep, personal moments and struggles.

And that is what hurts me
That you sharpen the moments
And point them straight at me

This collection, though filled with individual poems, forms a story of sorts. One of a life filled with love and life changing experiences, the painful and the wonderful, the hardships and the joys. I really appreciated how honest and poignant and raw these poems are – poems on life, love, loss, relationships and more. McConnell’s experiences create a collection of emotional poems that are relatable and touching.

I did not mean to tell you
That I loved you
My words fell unbidden from my lips
And you gathered them up
As if diamonds were scattered
At your feet.
You valued those words
And honoured them so
But I think you did not know
That I uttered those words
But I did not know what they mean.

Poetry fans should definitely check out this collection!

Poetry Review: while the rest of the world dances (2022)

poetry review

while the rest of the world dances by Bryony Rosehurst

two ghosts dance
through concrete
cemetery gates
on a cold October night

I’ve been waiting for Bryony Rosehurst’s poetry collection from the moment she first announced it on Twitter and I’m so glad to finally dive in! This is an incredibly poignant, emotional, touching, relatable collection of poems and prose that focuses on life, love, mental health and personal struggles, and much, much more.

So many of the poems herein really struck me on an emotional level, and I related to so many of them, but this one really stood out to me.

she is a cracked teacup
without a saucer,
stained with age,
faded by strangers’ lips,
leaning lifelessly in
a row of pristine china.
they send her back,
ask for another cup.
this one’s been used already,
this one’s no good.
now she gathers dust.

Rosehurst’s poetry is simply wonderful! Definitely check out this collection! I can’t wait to read more from this truly talented voice!

Poetry Review: Scarlet Shadows (2019)

Scarlet Shadows by Scylla Grand

‘the woman fed us wine and bread
and hungry, I should eat my fill
but food so fine could not be mine
I ate, but I was starving still.’

All I could think about whilst reading this collection was John Keats and ‘Bright Star’, haha. Good poetry makes me think of good poetry, what can I say?

Like, I am absolutely in awe of Scylla Grand’s poetry. I mean:

‘I shudder and rip
the skin off my flesh –
illusory mesh
decided by script.’

How amazing are these quotes? I wanted to post more, but I think you should just get a copy and be as pleasantly surprised as I was! Honestly, I am blown away by this collection of poetry. It’s quite short, but the poems are positively exquisite. I’m a bit of a poetry fangirl anyways, but goodness, these are great. Definitely worth checking out!!

Thank you to the author for a review copy.

Poetry Review: Golden Threads (2021)

Golden Threads: Collection of Poetry by Stjepan Varesevac Cobets

Someone forgot about us,
And we spread like weeds


I’m a huge fan of poetry, in all its wonderful forms and rhythms and it is a truth universally acknowledged that I must try as much poetry as I can.

I had Stjepan Varesevac Cobets’ science fiction added to my reading list already, but I only realised today that he has poetry, too! So I was really curious to check out his poems and dove right in. They’re fantastic! Like, freaking awesome. So many lines grabbed me!

There were a lot of great themes and strong descriptions. Cobets’ poems really remind me of Sean Stevens’ poetry, actually, which I whole heartedly recommend as well! It’s so great stumbling across new awesome poets. \o/

A few of my favourite lines in this collection are:

On the other side of the echo
One woman is standing upright
And watching the sea,
Waiting


And,

And what would a wish be without silk, lace and scarlet?

And,

For in sorrow, no one should be alone.

Can’t wait to read Cobets’ other poetry! The Flaming Horses: Collection of Poetry is one I’m hoping to check out soon! 

Book Review Roundup

The Tap-Dancing Pigeon of Covent Garden by Serena Hassan

Oh my goodness, this book is just the cutest. A pigeon, just out of the nest, learns what life is like in the big city and discovers that his passion and joy rests with dancing and song. This book is filled with gorgeous art and fun prose, definitely worth a read!

The Gift Of Life II: Darkness Follows by Sean Stevens

As I embark,
upon this lesson,
left or right,
adverse progression

POETRY IS JUST FREAKING GROOVY OKAY?

It would be really hard to pick out my favourite poems from this collection because there were numerous ones that just impacted me, yanno? But I pulled out some of the quotes that really hit me.

Had we known
What time was left
Would our values still be pride?

And,

A writer for history
For whom I’ve become,
Eternal battles: What’s living?
To those who have none

There’s some truly fantastic writing in here, along with some lovely photography! Sean Stevens is definitely a poet worth checking out! I can’t wait to read more of his poems.

Thank you to the author for the review copy.

Poetry Review: Black Movie (2015)

Black Movie by Danez Smith

‘why does it always have to be about race?’ Because you made it that way! Because you put an asterisk on my sister’s gorgeous face! Because you call her pretty (for a black girl)! Because black girls go missing without so much as a whisper of where?! Because there is no Amber Alert for the Amber Skinned Girls! Because we didn’t invent the bullet! Because crack was not our recipe! Because Jordan boomed. Because Emmitt whistled. Because Huey P. spoke. Because Martin preached. Because black boys can always be too loud to live. Because it’s taken my father’s time, my mother’s time, my uncle’s time, my brother’s & my sister’s time, my niece’s & my nephew’s time… how much time do you want for your progress?

If I could quote this whole collection of poetry and prose, I would. Each one tugged at my heart and filled me with emotion. I read it pretty much start to finish, only pausing once. The words in here are achingly raw, poignant and beautiful. The prose is exquisite and painful and brutal. A must read for sure.

I thoroughly recommend everyone give this their time.

Poetry Review Roundup

Of Darkness and Light by Despoina Kemeridou

In rivers of hatred,
and oceans of lust,
I’ll roam forever,
until I am dust

Some really good poems in here! This was my first time reading Kemeridou’s poems, and I will definitely check out more by this author! Great stuff.

The Beauty of Words by Gary Pollard

We shouldn’t need to request
To be free.
But some leaders
Simply would disagree.

I stumbled across this little book of poetry completely by random, but I’m so glad I snagged a copy! It’s a really fun, magical (maybe magical realism?), wholesome little book and the rhymes are smashing! Definitely worth reading!

Poetry Review: The Smallest of Bones (2021)

The Smallest of Bones by Holly Lyn Walrath

my body is two-thirds
whiskey
and one-third
ghosts

ABSOLUTELY. FRAKKING. STUNNING POETRY.

I think we write about ourselves so we can become creatures
we wish we could get out of our skin

Walrath is an excellent poet and I cannot wait to read more of her poetry. ♡♡♡

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.