#PoetryMonth: And Suddenly You Find Yourself, by @missholborow

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I’ve found many books of poetry to look into on social media lately. So many that I’m not quite sure where these additions to my TBR have come from. Natalie Ann Holborow’s collection was one of these books.

I didn’t know anything about And Suddenly You Find Yourself when I put it on hold through the library. It came in shortly after, I started reading it, and it became hard to put down right away. This collection grabbed me from the first few poems and didn’t let go. This book has made it onto my list of top books of the year already, and I know I’ll be rereading it soon once I buy my own copy.

I strongly recommend this collection, which is why I’m featuring it today on the blog. You’ll find all you need below. So don’t just take my word for it. I invite you to find out for yourself why I enjoyed it so much.

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The poems in this collection explore what it means to be human: where the mythological meets the modern, where fairytales, family and revenge collide, and a haunting mix of love, loss, desire, fear and revenge that is unafraid to unsettle the reader.

This remarkable collection of work finds people at their most vulnerable: Achilles counting to ten outside a psychiatrist’s door, a man finding himself in the shrinking bedroom of his mid-life, a lost sister chain-smoking into the breeze or a TB victim hacking her rags of lung softly into a pillow. Each one unflinchingly reveals the truth about what it means to be real. The people in this book may surprise you, their lives may be startlingly varied, but Natalie ann Holborow’s poems are an engaging, unnerving and honest exploration of the human experience in all its beauty and rawness.

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Want to grab a copy now? You can find it

direct from Parthian

Amazon | B&N

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About the Author:

NATALIE ANN HOLBOROW is a Swansea-born writer of poetry and Fiction. In 2015, she won both the Terry Hetherington Award and the Robin Reeves Prize, and in 2016 was named as runner-up in the Wales PENCymru New Voices Award. She has been recommended and shortlisted for various others including the Bridport Prize and the Hippocrates Prize. Natalie’s work has recently appeared in The Stinging Fly and the New Welsh Review.

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#PoetryMonth: Themed Recommendations…My weekend poetry TBR

For most of 2018 I’ve been reading poetry, and haven’t really read much fiction or other books. It’s not how my reading life normally looks. I’ve already read more books of poetry than I did during the entire year of 2017, and that number keeps growing.

For this Themed Recommendations post I’d like to give you a glimpse into my current poetry TBR. I have a LARGE pile of library books on my desk right now and I’m trying to get through at least one or two more by the end of this weekend. If I don’t, this pile will get even bigger. I have at least six more holds on their way and they’re probably be in tomorrow. I’ve found so many new poets to read lately that I’m happy there’s not a limit to the number of holds i can have any longer.

I hope you find something great to read from this list of books. I just finished reading the first one on the list from Natalie Ann Holborow and I’ll be featuring it later this week on its own. It’s one of my recent favorites. If you have any poets or books of poetry to recommend to me, please comment here on the post. I’m really pleased with what I’ve been seeing from the poetry community this year, but I know there’s even more out there to explore.

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

#PoetryMonth: The Poetry of Music, by @lynniespalmtree

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The Poetry of Music

“When words fail, music speaks.”

– Hans Christian Anderson

Music has been an integral part of my life since I was a small child. I have always been surrounded by it. It is a huge part of who I am. I can definitely say that it speaks to me in ways other things can’t.  As stated in the Hans Christian Anderson quote above, “Where words fail, music speaks.” Music, when infused with words, can indeed have a huge effect on us.

When I say I have always been surrounded by music, it literally was around me all the time. My mother used to play music that she loved around the house. My sister started taking piano lessons when I was 3, and when I was 5, I started taking lessons as well. I took piano for 12 years, fell in love with pretty much anything that was on the radio in my teenage years, and it has continued that way all of my life. Anything from classical, pop, heavy metal, country, show tunes, you name it, I will most likely at least give it a chance.

Why would all kinds of music have such an effect on me? There are many reasons I am sure, but in addition to the music itself, I think it is the lyrical poetry of the words within the music that can have an additional effect on us. I also have found that many songs, as you read through the lyrics, read like a poem. Then there are the works of music I have heard that actually take poetry, and write music to the words.

I wrote a post for poetry month a couple years ago about the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost and shared what a part of my life it had become. In attending one of my son’s All-County Choral Festivals around that same time, they sang a song that was this poem, put to music. I cried through the entire piece. Putting these words to music brought the words of the poem to a whole new level for me. It took something already meaningful, and elevated it.

I had a particularly rough therapy session last year. I’m always working on myself, as most of us probably are, and I have an uncanny ability to beat myself up over little things. After this session, I got in my car, and as I had just bought a new album the day before, I was listening to it on the first time through. These words came out of my stereo:

This song was what I needed to hear at that very moment. Since that day I have listened to this song, read these words, thought through these words, so many times. They lift me. They tell me to stop being so hard on myself. They truly do make me stop and take a breath and realize how strong I can be if I will just let myself. It is the words just as much as the music that made a difference to me on that day, and they still do.

Where words fail, music speaks. You can talk to me and tell me I’m too hard on myself, that I need to just let things go, that I don’t have to be everything to everyone, but it took this song to hit it home to me that day.

Music and words together can become part of the poetry that effects our lives. If you listen closely, you can actually feel the connection that music gives us to the words and it can greatly enrich our lives. I know it has mine. I have tried, and I believe succeeded, to pass this passion I have for music and their words on to my children and others around me. I believe music can make us better. So can words. When put together, it can become something almost healing.

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About Kristalyn:

You can find Kristalyn over on her blog The Sarcastic Palmtree where she blogs about what she reads, wants to read, and many great authors. You can also find some other fun posts about TV shows and music.

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#PoetryMonth: Some #PoetsofInstagram, part 2

This is the first of two posts featuring a number of poets from Instagram. I recently posted an explanation as to why I’m focusing on IG poets. You can find that here if you haven’t read it yet. I hope you check them out and also share others you may know of.

Tomarrow

by Megan, @unrulywords

Wild Oats

by Ben Ditmars, @BenDitmars

The Beauty of a Woman

by Yvette, @onedertwinpowers

The Beauty of a Woman

She is Shapely Contours,
‘La Femme physique’
of contrasting Design.
With each curvature,
the story…
graphically aligned.
Consciously aware
is the Beauty…
in and of this find.

Visually taste…
teleported in time,
released Inhibitions
confront unaccustomed minds.
She is Futuristic.
Doubled down on Double blind.
Confidently playing,
she wins Everytime.

these things shape us

by Emily Jane Burton, @emjaneburton

As we all know, poetry isn’t just about what’s on the page. Much of poetry is meant to be performed. What Emily is working on with her poetry is to put music to them. Now that you’ve read “these things shape us”, here’s a recording on the poem to compare and experience differently.

these things shape us on Soundcloud

About the Poets

Megan

Um, I hate talking about myself, but I love tacos and I’m really bad at math.

Instagram

Ben Ditmars

Ben is an author of surrealist short poetry. He was first published in his college publications the Cornfield Review and KAPOW. Since then he has been featured in several online literary journals. His published works include Night Poems, Inhale the Night and Number Poetry. Currently, he lives in Ohio and works in payroll and accounting. He loves historical documentaries and all things gnome.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon

Yvette

I am a proud mother, a cherished daughter, a true friend and spirited lover, dabbling in the words of life.

Instagram

Emily Jane Burton

Emily Jane Burton is a poet and singer-songwriter from Kansas City, MO. She combines her passions to create poem-songs, poetry she sings rather than simply reads.

Website | TwitterSoundcloud | Instagram

 

#PoetryMonth: Some #PoetsofInstagram, part 1

Minutes

by Dan Leicht, @deeliopunk

a poem

by Ashley, @anerdgirl

 

A Game With Time

by T.S. Anon, @t.s.anon

Note from R.Z – Before reading the full poem below, here’s the original post from IG. You’ll find the poem looks much different in the caption. Maybe you’d enjoy comparing the two versions and see what line breaks can do to a poem in aspects other than visually.

A Game With Time

I look up to the starry sky and ask,
“why do you play with hearts like they don’t shatter?”
Did you not notice the clock of time
when you let two soulmates pass by each other?
Or when one soul losses his footing and falls behind in the race,
while she dances in the arms of someone else?

I realize you don’t have any answers for me,
but I can’t help but howl up at the moon for those poor souls
hurting from lovers meeting at wrong times.

Was it too early in the season of time
when our eyes locked that night?
Or maybe it was too late in the life we’re living?

I can’t truthfully tell you that I sleep well at night
with these thoughts bombarding me like a pirate’s ship under siege,
for I carry other’s treasures lost at sea as well as mine.
I’ve gathered the treasures,
not from plunders but from lovers
that I’ve met when the clock ticked wrong.

I don’t know the meaning of your time,
when you bump two glasses together
long before a toast is meant to commence.

I try to ignore the shots of these thoughts
as they pierce my mind,
so I can live in peace and in the moment of your embrace,
but it’s hard when you show me that they’re right.

Don’t worry Darling,
I’m still searching for you in the maze of this clock.
I think I’m getting closer to finding you
amidst the half seasons of time.

About the Poets

Dan Leicht

Dan Leicht is a writer of poetry and prose, both of which he’ll often post to his Instagram and Medium pages.

Website | Instagram

Ashley Shaw

Single mother. Avid reader. Therapeutic poet. Battling mental illness while raising an autistic son.

Instagram | Twitter | Ashley’s son’s Youtube channel

T.S. Anon

I’ve been sharing my writing on IG since September 2017 and have grown to love the supportive writer community on there. I mostly write about love, whether its the presence or absence of it. On IG, I not only show my short picture size poem but I also write an extension to it in the caption portion of each post, and I think that sets me apart from the common road of posting poetry on IG.

Instagram

#PoetryMonth: Soon to come… #PoetsofInstagram

Poetry comes in many forms and from a variety of writers who fit in these forms…or invent their own when they don’t. There really aren’t any rules to poetry. With each new collection I read I feel that this is becoming more and more true. Poetry evolves over time.

Modern technology has helped poetry evolve, as well as reach a wider audience. This is something that the social media app Instagram is great for. On Instagram there are poets from all around the world sharing their work with millions of readers and writers. While the internet alone can do this, IG has its own advantages. It’s an instant source for words, for images, and it has a sense of community all its own.

One of the main features I see in Instagram poetry is that it’s usually brief, but says a lot compared to the lack of works. These bite-sized poems grab your attention, and with the accompanying images, may get non-poetry readers to consider it becoming a poetry reader.

I have two posts coming out this month that will feature a variety of poets I’ve found (or have found me) on Instagram. Some stick to brief sets of lines. Others expand passed the limitations of the square picture post. They all have talent and I hope you find some to follow.

If you know of any poets I should check out, please let me and my readers know in the comments!

#PoetryMonth: All Our Wild Wonder, by @kaysarahsera

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Here’s a poem from Sarah Kay that almost slipped my notice last month. I did a review of it, but forgot to announce it’s release. So that’s what I’m doing today.

Like Kay’s last two single poem “books” (B and The Type) this poem was also includes in her collection No Matter the Wreckage. But what you don’t get inside her collection is the accompanying illustrations that enhance the reading experience. So consider checking out this book. It’s a fast read, but like the others, one you may want to reread often.

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“From renowned poet Sarah Kay, a single volume poem perfect for teachers and mentors.

All Our Wild Wonder is a vibrant tribute to extraordinary educators and a celebration of learning. The perfect gift for the mentors in our lives, this charming, illustrated poem reminds us of the beauty in, and importance of, cultivating curiosity, creativity, and confidence in others.”

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Want to grab a copy now? You can find it over on

Amazon | B&N

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About the Author:

Sarah Kay is a New Yorker. a poetry writer and reader. a spoken word poetry teacher. the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E. with Phil Kaye. a witty banter enthusiast. a postcard lover. a documentary filmmaker. a foodie. a playwright. a singer. a songwriter. a photographer. a best-selling author of the book B. an editor for Write Bloody Publishing. a Gemini. a mediocre driver at best. a musical theater geek. a smoothie expert. the daughter of a Taoist mother and a Brooklynese father. a hapa. less cool than her little brother. an alum of the United Nations International School. an alum of Brown University. an alum of Brown University Graduate School’s Masters Program in the Art of Teaching Secondary English. a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Grinnell College.

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