#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: 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: 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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#PoetryMonth: double-feature! @SoniaGreenfield & @Kavetchnik

Earlier this week I shared a bit about a new-to-me poet Sarah K. Carey. I hope you’ve taken a look at some of her poems and maybe you’ve even enjoyed them. I know I read and enjoyed a few this week.

If you recall, I made mention of Sarah suggesting some poets to me. Today I’m going to share a little more about a few of those poets. You can never have too many poets to check out. I know I can’t.

Jen Karetnick

The first poet I’d like to bring to your attention today is Jen Karetnick. She’s written a number of collections and chapbooks. That means my TBR just got a hefty increase. I’ll be trying to track at least a few of them down in the coming weeks.

Jen’s poetry has been published by Cutthroat, Measure, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, among many others. If you’d like a taste, here are a few poems to read:

Along with her own poetry, Jen is a co-founder of SWWIM, Creative Writing Director at a charter school, and food critic. As you can see there’s much to explore when it comes to this poet.

Start your exploration:

Sonia Greenfield

As I said before, I’m sharing two poets with you today. Two for the price of one isn’t a bad deal if you ask me.

Sonia Greenfield is a California poet, but is originally from New York (LIKE ME!) That’s not the reason I have a collection of hers on my desk right now though. I have one because I was able to get it from the library and couldn’t pass up the chance to read Sonia’s work. I also have a copy of The Best of American Poetry 2010 next to it because she has a poem in it. One of the BEST poems in the country in 2010? It feels wrong not to check her out.

The book I’m about to read soon is Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market. If you can’t get your hands on that one fast enough, here are a few poems you can read right away:

That’s probably not enough on your reading pile, right? Thought so. That’s why I’m going to leave this right here before I go:

Sonia Greenfield’s poetry chapbook American Parable is a portrait of America’s current political and cultural landscape. Greenfield’s candor is a light that helps us make sense of a murky world.

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Still reading? Cool. Just a quick favor: If you have any poets you would like to push on me and my readers this month (or in the future) let me know! You can tell me through this form or use the contact option near the top of the page.

#PoetryMonth: featured poet @SayCarey1

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Part of the reason I started doing the Poetry Month event on my blog was a selfish one. While the main reasoning is to spread the word about poets and poetry as a whole, it also brought new poems and poets to my attention. This is a semi-common occurrence for me on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. During National Poetry Month it’s a bit easier to find the hands reaching out from the massive sea that is the book world online.

I’ve discovered many talented poets over the years online and this year is no different. You’ll see a few throughout this month. Today I’d like to introduce a new-to-me poet Sarah K. Carey, who I found at the suggestion of author Tamara Lush.

Back in 2016 Sarah published a chapbook, The Heart Contracts, through Finishing Line Press. This was her debut and a collection I’m looking forward to reading. You can find how to get a copy below.

Before you skip ahead, though, I’d like to bring to your attention a few other poems Sarah has out in the wild. These have been published in various publications. If you’re like me, you may want to see where this poet’s grown as a writer over time by reading these along with her chapbook.

Poetry Month is about discovering new poetry, stepping out of your comfort zone (maybe by reading poetry for the first time), and helping to expand the online community for poetry even in the slightest ways my little blog can. So if you end up enjoying Sarah’s poetry, maybe consider letting a fellow reader know about her. The same goes for other poets and poetry found throughout the month! In turn, if you’d like to bring someone to my attention, let me know. My TBR is always hungry.

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Some more recent poems for your reading pleasure…

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Want to grab a copy of this chapbook? You can find it over on

Finishing Line Press

or

Amazon | B&N

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In the spirit of Poetry Month, Sarah has suggested some poets to me and I’d like to share them with the rest of you. They are…

Chelsea Dingman

Jen Karetnick

Sonia Greenfield

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About the Author:

Sarah Carey is an award-winning writer, communications specialist and poet. A North Carolina native, she grew up in Florida, where she has lived most of her life. After two years at Duke University, Sarah finished her undergraduate education at Florida State University, where she majored in political science and began taking creative writing classes. While in college, Sarah waited tables, sold ads, wrote copy for the local public television station and covered news and features for the student newspaper, the Florida Flambeau. In 1981, she received a master’s degree in English from FSU with a concentration in creative writing.

One of the poems from her creative thesis was a finalist in the Academy of American Poets competition and in the final year of her graduate program, Sarah had her first poetry publication in the Florida Review. In the years since, she has continued to publish poems in a variety of small magazines and literary journals. She spent ten days as a residency-only student at the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, N.C. in 1987 and later participated in two Key West Writer’s Workshops with the poet Carolyn Forché.

After completing her graduate studies, Sarah began working for weekly newspapers in the Florida Panhandle, becoming one of the state’s youngest-ever newspaper editors when she was named editor of the Gadsden County Times in 1983 at the age of 25. Many of her stories were honored with awards from organizations including the Florida Press Association, the Florida Press Club and the Florida Medical Association. In 1990, she began working for the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, where she remains today as director of communications, routinely writing and publicizing stories on topics ranging from veterinary medical advances benefiting pets, exotic animals, horses and livestock to biomedical discoveries affecting animal, human and ecosystem health. Sarah’s communications work has received several awards from the Florida Public Relations Association, which named her its Jack M. Detweiler Professional of the Year in 2012. Her work for the UF College of Veterinary Medicine was nationally recognized in 2017 when she and her communications team received the American Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals’ Excellence in Communications Award.

She lives in Gainesville with her husband, Chad Hunsaker, and their black Labrador retriever, Finn.

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#PoetryMonth: A poem from @Helle_Gade

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Today I have a poem to share with you. It’s from Helle Gade, who has been featured on the blog numerous times. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to share her work, so I hope you enjoy this one. And when you’re done, maybe check out her other work on the blog or her published works (you can find a link to her website and Amazon below)

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 Wolfe Words

by Helle Gade


You’re a wolf
In sheep clothing
Spouting pretty words
Utter nonsense
Flowery prose
Lies in disguise

You think me
fooled
Laughing
behind my back
Telling tales
of my ignorance

But be warned
I know you tricks
There will be no pardon
I will purge you
From my body
And certainly my mind

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About the Author:

When I discovered poetry, I never dreamed it would have such an impact on my life and me. Today I couldn’t imagine living without it. Writing it has a healing effect on my soul and if I touch just one person with it, then I’m happy.

I have published three collections and a book with all three in there. I’m currently working with a bunch of brilliant authors and photographers on The Mind’s Eye series.

When I’m not writing, then you will most likely find me with a camera in my hand. Photography is a huge passion of mine and I have more than once combined it with my poetry.

I’m also lucky to have my book Nocturnal Embers win ☆Best Poetry Collection☆ in eFestival of Words.

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