#PoetryMonth New Release: The Body Remembers, by @thebookishpoet

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In light of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, the short poetry collection will address sexual assault, drawing on the author’s own experience by examining what happens to bodies and minds after being assaulted.

The Body Remembers will discuss the following: anxiety, blood, childhood abuse, depression, dissociation, post-traumatic stress disorder, rape, sexual assault, stalking, suicidal ideations. This is a graphic poetry collection. Please practice self-care during and after reading this collection.

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

Amazon

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About the Poet:

Melissa Jennings lives with their super cute cat Dora in the sometimes sunny but always vibrant city of Glasgow, in Scotland. Melissa is a bookworm, currently studying towards an MA in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. Please use they/them/theirs in reference to the author in a review and/or comment.

They have published two poetry collections: Afterlife and Dear Judas. The author is also currently and chaotically working on their next poetry collections, The Body Remembers, Underworld, and Ethereal.

In their spare time, Melissa enjoys painting, hanging out with their little kitten Dora, crying over poetry, and attempting to lessen their TBR list on their bookshelves.

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#PoetryMonth: $0.99 sale on @TheBookishPoet’s collections!

If your TBR hasn’t gotten big enough from the poetry I’ve shared so far this month, I’m about to help it expand even more!

To cut right to the point: Here are two poetry collections (one full-length, one chapbook length) from Melissa Jennings that are on sale for only $0.99 until May 1st. I grabbed them up this morning and thought you’d like to check them out as well. You can find links to each right…about…now:

Afterlife is a collection of poetry about catharsis, self-love, and self-revolution. Afterlife is a journey from the darkness to the light again, and again, and again.

Amazon

Afterlife is a collection of poetry about catharsis, self-love, and self-revolution. Afterlife is a journey from the darkness to the light again, and again, and again.

Amazon

About the Poet:

Melissa Jennings lives with their super cute cat Dora in the sometimes sunny but always vibrant city of Glasgow, in Scotland. Melissa is a bookworm, currently studying towards an MA in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. Please use they/them/theirs in reference to the author in a review and/or comment.

They have published two poetry collections: Afterlife and Dear Judas. The author is also currently and chaotically working on their next poetry collections, The Body Remembers, Underworld, and Ethereal.

In their spare time, Melissa enjoys painting, hanging out with their little kitten Dora, crying over poetry, and attempting to lessen their TBR list on their bookshelves.

Find out more:

#PoetryMonth: @ButtonPoetry and the poet’s I’ve enjoyed

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Most of the books I buy, borrow from the library, and just in general read aren’t influenced by who brought them to the world by publishing them. What usually matters to me is who wrote them and what a book is about. Recently, this has changed slightly.

I first discovered Button Poetry a few years ago. I think I stumbled upon their Youtube presence at the time, subscribed to them, but didn’t dive deep into all the content. I’m not one to spend hours on Youtube, even though I now regret that. I could have found many great poets earlier if I had paid more attention.

Fast forward to the end of 2017 when I saw one of my author-friends tweet about the poetry collection Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim. I don’t see many people on my Twitter feed who read and/or write fiction talk about poetry. So I looked into the collection, read a few poems…and I needed to get a copy. So I did. I read it. I loved it. And I needed more. That’s when I looked up some of the titles in the back of the book and found I could get a few through the library system (it’s so great being linked to a majority of Colorado libraries!). It didn’t take long before my TBR was filled, then read. In turn my to-buy list has increased, as well.

Button poetry publishes all these great poets, but also is a community for poets to thrive in. I don’t know all the ins and outs of it all, but I hope they continue to do the great work they do. I’ve yet to be wowed by one of their books and I’ll continue to look to them for groundbreaking poetry when I need it.

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I can’t let you all go without highlighting a few of my favorite collections. That wouldn’t be nice of me. In no particular order, I’d like to bring to your attention:

 

depression and other magic tricks

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 50,000,000 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.

Buy a copy

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Helium

Helium is the debut poetry collection by internet phenom Rudy Francisco, whose work has defined poetry for a generation of new readers. Rudy’s poems and quotes have been viewed and shared millions of times as he has traveled the country and the world performing for sell-out crowds. Helium is filled with work that is simultaneously personal and political, blending love poems, self-reflection, and biting cultural critique on class, race and gender into an unforgettable whole. Ultimately, Rudy’s work rises above the chaos to offer a fresh and positive perspective of shared humanity and beauty.

Buy a copy

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We Slept Here

We Slept Here is a case study in vulnerability and honesty. In this sequence of memoir-esque poems, Sierra DeMulder pulls at the threads of a past abusive relationship and the long road to forgiveness. The poems themselves become that which was taken from her. These are hard poems, made up of clarity and healing, which attempt to share some of their peace with the world.

Buy a copy

 

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Find Button Poetry on:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

#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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