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.

Poetry Review: Fairytales (2020)

Fairytales: A Poetry Collection by M.E. Aster

twisted lies and poisoned trees
you are more than that to me
a volatile orchard perhaps

This is a collection of introspective, emotive poetry and prose that is definitely worth checking out! I can’t wait to read more of Aster’s writing.

Review Roundup

Masquerade Season by ‘Pemi Aguda [short story]

This one really made me think and it hit me harder than I anticipated. Actually, Masquerade Season reminded me of The Giving Tree, honestly. One of those stories where the message makes you ache and it leaves you deeply melancholy.

The Sea Is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt [fiction]

I got a chapter sampler version, so I’m only reviewing the couple of chapters I read, but I really, really like the prose in this one. There’s a very distinct voice, which is so nice to find. The set up is very intriguing, and I’m really curious to see how it’s going to wrap up.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC-excerpt. Excited to read the full book!

Dust Bowl Venus by Stella Beratlis [poetry collection]

Woe be unto us: We thought dancing did not matter.

I really do have, like, a thing for poetry. I truly do. Poems are so fly, and these ones are awesome.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.

A Peek at Beaks: Tools Birds Use by Sara Levine [children’s books]

This is such an informative and awesome kid’s book! It’s interactive, which is great for teaching kids and getting them engaged with the material, and there are so many different birds that are described herein. It also delves briefly into how evolution and Darwinism work. A lovely, colourful book for young readers!

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.

Winter Soldier Vol. 1: The Longest Winter by Ed Brubaker [graphic novel/comic books]

I’m gonna admit, I picked this up because of the show. It’s awesome to finally have the focus on Bucky’s character, who I’ve always found interesting. This comic was quite compelling and I really liked the artwork. I was a bit confused? I feel like there was backstory I didn’t have, but maybe it’s just because I’m so used to the show/films universe. Like, I wasn’t expecting Bucky and Natasha to be so close! I liked them together, I was just a bit thrown. That said, I liked it overall. Definitely going to read a few more Winter Soldier tales. 

Mika and the Dragonfly by Ellen Delange [children’s books]

Do you need a spoiler warning for a kid’s book? It’s only 17 pages, so I have no idea! But, uh, spoilers? Haha. The artwork in this is absolutely lovely, and there’s a good message about being kind to insects and making friends. I’m a little unsure about the method of resolution, though: the dragonfly’s wing fell off and the kid ends up gluing it back on.

Adults don’t take kid’s books literally, of course, but I’d just be sure to tell the kid you’re reading this to not to attempt gluing a dragonfly’s wing back on. I really worry about the dragonflies, okay?! That’s my only nitpick, though. Overall it’s a very sweet little book and definitely worth picking up.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.

Poetry and Photography Review: Rhythm Flourishing (2020) and Seizing the Bygone Light (2021)

Rhythm Flourishing: A Collection of Kindku and Sixku
by Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis

Today
questions still
haunt old stone.

Ooooh, I do adore photography blended with poetry. I’d never heard of Kindku and Sixku before, so learning about these types of poetry was very informative!

I loved so many of the poems, especially the one quoted above and the one inspired by William Ernest Henley, who is a personal favourite of mine. The photography in here is absolutely stunning, too! \o/

Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography
by Cendrine Marrouat, David Ellis & Hadiya Ali

I have seized the light! I have arrested his flight! The sun himself in future shall draw my pictures! – Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, 1839, quoted within.

Oh my gosh, the photographs in here are so stunning. I saw some familiar places, but so many new ones and it’s making my desire to travel so much bigger! Ugh, seeing beautiful pictures while locked inside during a pandemic is just MEAN (but in the best way, haha). \o/

Anyways, this is a lovely little collection of photography and poetry and I totally recommend it!

Thank you so much to the authors for the review copies!

Poetry Review: Emotionally Raw by Carlos Cabrera & Lovable Losers and Romantic Monsters by B.P. Learner

You guys know how much I adore poetry, and I was so fortunate to stumble across Emotionally Raw and Loveable Losers and Romantic Monsters this week! These two titles are by indie poets Leaner and Cabrera, and they deserve so much more attention than they’re getting! Man, poetry seriously does not get enough attention. Thus, allow me to shout from the rooftops POETRY IS GREAT AND THERE ARE MANY NEW POETS OUT THERE!

In Emotionally Raw, Cabrera writes straight from the heart, and you feel his words in every line. There are so many good lines in his poems, but here are some of my favourites:

This must be a dream, vivid as they come,
What did I do to deserve someone like you?
Whatever it was, I must have love from someone above.

If I could, I’d show you the universe
If I could, I’d leave the darkness for good

Land of the free, home of the brave
If you are not exploitable
You won’t be saved

So many of these lines just hit me. Such brilliant writing!

In Loveable Losers and Romantic Monsters, Leaner evokes emotion with every word, spinning lines beautifully and provoking introspection.

We are the creepers,
the weird, the strangers,
the witches and warlocks,
the monsters

the woods stretched infinitely into black oneness with all of us and our otherliness.

The most powerful thing you can do for yourself is to love all the ugliness in your soul.

Because art is telling us, whispering in our ears, warmly and congenially:
Come to me you hurt people.
I’ll give you all solace.

I love, love, love poetry like this. So impressed. Otherliness is a word I feel in my bones, yo.

I definitely recommend these poets! If anyone has any poetry to share, do link me in the comments!