Poetry for me is an eye-opening experience. You step into the soles of the shoes of another but ironically enough because the human experience is mirrored through triumphs and pain, you will find some of ‘you’ in the pages of Bare Roots.
No matter whether you’ve gone through similar traumatic experiences as Hillery:
sexual assault and rape
anorexia, addictions, and self-harm
depression and suicidal thoughts
or overall just feeling like a burden to the people you love.
My favorite piece in this collection was a piece called What They Don’t Tell You In College which poignantly pens the struggle between feeding on the lies they sell you about growing up and adulthood and the reality as painful as it may be, as it is.
Bare Roots will act as new soil and help you water the roots of the trauma so you can start anew, flourish and thrive.
Did you enjoy this review? Have a book coming out and need it to SHINE?
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Hillery’s newest poetry collection will be out this Monday April 19 and it is entitled The Medicine That Burns. Look for my review coming this Monday right here. Pre-order it now and get your copy of Bare Roots here.
I happened upon Michaela’s poetry on Instagram and was immediately drawn by the way she wielded words, and how her words wielded me.
To be completely honest, I was a little somber when the collection ended as it really resonated with me.
The poems were short but exhilaratingly deep, and so perfectly poignant.
The poems discuss themes i am all too familiar with as a near-thirty writer who must have quicksand in her soul because every man I’ve ever loved fell right through and out some hidden trap door. No kidding there:
Loving someone who is meant for someone else. Having toxic types that you are always drawn to like red flags are for fun and amusement, and how self-love is the key to true freedom, and attracting a love that loves you back.
You can win a copy of You’ll Come Back To Yourself by Michaela Angemeer. All you need to do is enter at this link and subscribe to my Youtube channel.
If you enter through the Rafflecopter and subscribe to Youtube, I will send you a paperback copy of the book.
This review is 186 words and took me 2 hours to compile. I was given no compensation in exchange for this review but you are free to Buy Me a Coffee.
Cheyenne Bluett’t bright light lit up my Instagram feed. Her content is curated to encourage and inspire just about everyone.
Opening His Green Eyes, I was taken on a poetic journey of the depths of true love, something that writers have a fondness for attempting to understand by giving it a rhyme or a reason.
Yet, poets know love is unique to its counterparts and soulmates are real. Love knows no gender, no age, or no reason.
Love just is.
Reading His Green Eyes the reader is taken deep into the heart of the love and admiration for Bluett’s real life husband Robbie.
My favorite poems in the book appear below but the loving you in every color and loving you in my favorite places were by far so outside the box and refreshing, not to mention sweetly written and heartfelt, full of personal memories and momentos with her lover.
Whether you’ve always felt unworthy of lasting love or you just became a newlywed, these poems defy space and time to share sunshine into the darkest corners of any heart who cynically considers love something only of cinema screens and novel pages.
Bluett’s poetry will make a believer out of you. She made one out of me.
This review is 207 words and took me 1 hour and 23 minutes to compile. I received no compensation for this review. You can get a review just like this for $40. Order yours here.
Bookish and Music Based Gifts for The Smart Cookie in your Life!
It’s the time of the year (although I know 2020 has been one of those years) when you put yourself and all you want out of your mind for a whole month, and think about the people you love and how you could possibly make their lives better with a gift that screams them. Well, I’m not an expert on the best gifts for people who like fashion, home goods or even monster trucks. I am an expert on all things books and music and I have the perfect list of gifts for the Smart Cookie in your life.
In the beginning of the year I began reading this book and found it helped me have something positive and meaningful to reflect on each day. No matter your creed or color, this book is a helpful devotional style book which helps anyone feel lighter and more focused on what they bring to the table instead of what they lack.
This was my 2020 introduction to National Poetry Month and it definitely started the month off on the right note. I found it to be incredibly simple yet so telling which is my favorite reason for reading poetry. Perfect for non-poetry readers and poetry readers alike. My favorite poem would have to be this one right here although more are included in my review piece at the link above.
Sometimes you read a book of poetry and it absolutely hits you right at the center of your pain but instead of placing a band-aid over it, it was salve for the wounds I suffered following a season of double trauma. It was everything I didn’t know I needed post-trauma. And I thank Jaqueline Whitney for putting her words, her heart, her story out into the world because they helped me heal even more.
By far, this was one of my favorite books I read this year. Not only because I am friends with the author but because her writing is so lyrically brilliant. I can’t tell you how powerful this story was. It’s crazy to me that this book took twenty years to come to fruition but wow, it’s absolutely worth all the work that went into writing it, and even more so, worthy of every ounce of buzz and nomination it has gotten since it’s release.
Sometimes you read a novel at the exact right time and it makes you nostalgic when you didn’t have to excuse you actually enjoying Fitzgerald or Murakami or even Garcia Marquez back in high school. If you like any of those writers, please consider Good Brave People as it reads with poetic prose but has the mystique and literary stamina of all three writers combined. It’s hard to believe this is his debut novel.
In preparation for putting out my own book, I began posting some poetry of mine to gain exposure for my collection as any writer does on social media. I connected with this writer and it was apparent right away we both were heartbroken and haunted by our twin flames. A twin flame is a spiritual concept where two people are actually two halves of the same soul so they complete each other, and sometimes the connection can span many lifetimes. They don’t always achieve union every lifetime but every lifetime causes them to cycle karmic cleansings and self-healing to achieve their highest selves until they achieve union or entirely mirror one another.
Opening up the discussion about mental health by sharing her own personal story about her struggles with anxiety, it’s written in a devotional style so it is an easy read and helps people who suffer with anxiety through to defeating it once and for all.
Shameless plug but my brand new poetry book is now available in paperback and ebook format. It’s already gotten 4.6 stars on Goodreads and even resonated with a Bookstagrammer in India. Overall, I hope that by me writing this to heal, it offers you the same no matter what you are going through or have gone through.
2020 was the year my favorite band came back with new music and it gave me purpose yet again. Their Tangerine EP was a blessed fruit in the desolate year that was 2020 but it’s worth a listen and it’s less than $5.
Dare I say it but when I sat down to listen to their third studio album, I actually thought it was going to be sub-par but instead like their two previous works, not one bad song on it. So much strong lyricism and inventive musicality that again changes their sound as a band. Watch out 5SOS are always evolving. Try to stay CALM about it.
If 2020 ever needed a savior it would have to be T. Swift. She showed up with a folk pop album written entirely in 3rd person and it was exactly what our quarantine playlist needed, and our souls needed too.
You ever been given an opportunity just when you were about to give up and you literally wondered why you were picked. Well, the chance to review this album came like to me this year and it’s a wonderful body of work. My favorite song is probably Who I Am? on this album but the entire work takes you back to a youthful viewpoint and you all know how much I love being nostalgic.
Lecrae is my favorite rapper so when I heard he was releasing new music in the year of all years I was restored that God truly is watching over us and is walking with us, no matter how much we wrestle with the Holy Ghost.
You ever fall in love with someone and their potential of being with you was all in your head? Well, if not, if you’ve ever seen the good in goodbye, Thank U Next is Ariana’s most powerful work to date. It shares struggles with mental health, heartbreak, grief, and feeling too needy.
Fine, I’ll admit it. I’m secretly in love with Luke Combs solely because he has a beard, drinks beer, and wears crocs. Haha. Well he’s newly married to the prettiest girl but his artistry sure has stolen my heart. He writes amazing songs. His song Beautiful Crazy stopped me in my tracks and I am still not over it.
Wishing you all an espressive Holiday season! Cheers to 2021!
We love, we lose, but does what we love ever let us go?
This is the beckoning question that readers must ask themselves as they experience the chapbook “The Haunting.”
Combs writes of a dead lover who’s ghost-like presence reminds you that love is force far beyond death and the grave.
Heartbreak comes in phases: it hurts, it heals, and it haunts.
The Haunting by Melissa M. Combs seeks to spook the loss of love right out of you and remind you that first comes the unfinished business of heartbreak and then comes the healing. This chapbook will quite literally eat you alive and help you survive the pain, the sting, the lost feeling of being left for dead by an ex-lover. Combs’s words will leave you in chills and help you heal.
Her full length poetry collection is due out November 17. You can check out a sneak peek of Love in Other Realms on her Instagram and buy poetry based merch inspired by the poetry featured in her collection at her website.
I look forward to being haunted by the words of this poet long after I finish reading any of her books.
As most of you know, my favorite month of the year is National Poetry month. I celebrate it every year both here and on my personal social media pages. Why? Well, poets are just underrated but they say things we wish more people would just come out with. I love how immediate and succint writing poetry feels and when someone reads it if they feel the power in your words, the entire poem speaks volumes and all the feelings come full circle. So powerful and as with all writing both brave and vulnerable as well.
The thing I love about writing poetry is that there are less rules. You can format it however you want, and even make grammatical errors part of the poem as well.
When reading poetry, I find solace in the short but staggered rhythm of lyrics and words that leave me feeling lifted, understood, and less alone.
I found Stefanie Briar’s work during one of my curiousity sprees (when I am venturing down the many rabbit holes of Instagram) where I search online for salve for the wounds of my human frailty.
Cosmosis uses the metaphor that our universe grows and expands with each act of love even if lost or toxic.
It is brilliantly organized in four sections:
The poetry in each centers from the gravitational pull of its theme my two favorites were Solar Flare and Black Hole because like this poet, I have loved, and I have felt the blackest hole of love lost.
This one is probably my favorite if I had to pick one…although every poem here is so powerfully poignant and original.
You can join the conversation and find new poetry shared often via her Instagram pagewhich impressively has over 20,000 followers in the six months since she joined the platform (Stefanie, please sprinkle some of your magic voodoo dust on my Instagram, please).
And it’s easy to see why she has so many fans. Her words are sharp and spoil-proof. Yet, if you message her, she will message you back within hours. She’s genuinely super supportive of other poets and writers, and she’s also got amazing taste in music.
According to her author bio on the back of her debut poetry book, she lives in New Jersey with her husband, young daughter, python, and cat-sized rabbit. She teaches 10th grade English and coaches cheerleading.
You can purchase a copy of the Barnes & Noble Press poetry bestseller Cosmosis here.
Her second book of poetry is due out on New Year’s Day 2021. 2021 is already looking promising if you ask me.
I was asked to read this book of poetry and some prose for an honest review. Once received, I was unsure of what I would find under this tree of metaphorical significance but I am happy to share not only did I find myself lost in the midst of some of these poems…that share bits of truth about self-confidence, sefl-esteem, and one that cleverly tells the story of a seed of doubt.
My favorite of all Rao’s words shared within the pages of this collection is called Love is.
I also enjoyed the excerpt from Inconvenient Relations, Rao’s novel.
Coming out of the other side of trauma is the part people notice. They didn’t notice you within the trauma feeling stuck, losing the fuel to your fire, losing the best parts of you to appease those people who were absolutely blind to your worth.
They didn’t notice when you were broken and reaching out to everyone and everything to help you understand the pain that had doubled you over. That made you think that this was it. The story was over, and no one checked in or showed up for you like you did for them, you turned to a higher power and internal healing, and to be free of the pain you had to let go of what or who was holding you back.
Then, dead on arrival, the truth, the clarity washes over you and you come out strong. Like a phoenix you rise and begin to fly.
And when you rise, you help others like you heal.
For me, that is the poetry of Jacqueline Whitney. It is written from a place of severe trauma, from a place where people say something is wrong with you because you are depressed and only see darkness, and from a place where light washes over you in streams and waves until the darkness flees from you, and the place you are stuck in, becomes the place where you danced right out of the flames.
It was everything I didn’t know I needed post-trauma. And I thank her for putting her words, her heart, her story out into the world because they helped me heal even more.
You can connect with Jacqueline via Instagram and even find a link to purchase her very vital book of poetry.