Fortesa Latifi’s debut poetry collection This Is How We Find Each Other is by turns both gentle and cutting. Despite this superb wordsmith’s cutting tongue, you can’t help but be enchanted by her work. Many of Latifi’s poems explore the notion of cultural identity, and she tears off society’s mask with a practiced hand in order to expose the ugliness within so that those who delve inside the pages can better understand what it feels like to be within a rock and a hard place. By allowing her readers to muse on how cultural identity can be an all-consuming puzzle for some, it allows those who pick up this collection to almost drown in that pain, so that by the time her story has ended readers will hopefully be wiser and more compassionate.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, February 11th, 2015||No Comments »|
Karin Gottshall’s poetry collection The River Won’t Hold You is a heartbreaking look inside the nature of loneliness. With a keen eye, Gottshall uses different poetic structures and language to muse on the nature of sadness and pain. However, even with its dark subject matter, she’s able to give us a respite from the turbulent emotions everyone has felt at some point in their life by bringing such heartache to life with her exquisite words.
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|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, January 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
Rupi Kaur’s exquisite poetry collection Milk and Honey is a heartbreaking and hopeful tale about what it means to go through hell and come out the other end as a survivor. There are four chapters in Milk and Honey, each of which are devoted to taking the reader on an emotional rollercoaster ride thanks to Kaur’s haunting poetry and deft way with imagery. Kaur allows you to experience violence, abuse, love, and loss, all while musing on the power and expectations of femininity. Some of her poems will make you flinch and gasp in horror while others will have you sharing her loss and weeping with her. However, by the end of each of the four chapters, Kaur’s poetry allows readers to delve into the very depths of different heartaches so that they can begin to see the wisdom in all of the pain that the narrator has been through.
Even though many of Kaur’s poems deal with a fairly dark subject matter, Milk and Honey is not all doom and gloom. In fact, by the end of the collection, she shows her readers that every bitter moment in one’s life will always give way to the light, as there is good all around us if we take a moment to see it.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, January 9th, 2015||No Comments »|
Lisa Marie Basile’s poetry collection Apocryphal is a collection that will wrap its siren song slowly around you as you struggle to learn what’s real and what’s fake. Apocryphal is littered with the author’s own memoirs and she spins her experiences into spellbinding poetry. Each piece is a tale set in a dreamy, almost retro seaside town where Basile explores the temptations of various vices that dance before her, like sexuality and grief.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, November 19th, 2014||No Comments »|
Trista Mateer’s poetry collection Honeybee is an illuminating look on the difficulties of letting go of someone we once loved and the on-again, off-again process of healing that walks hand-in-hand with heartbreak.
Mateer’s poems range in emotion, from the bitterness of lost friends to the joy of first love. The natural cycle of many relationships is expressed within this collection in all its technicolor glory and despair. Whether you’re young or old, the emotional turmoil of heartbreak is something everyone can identify with. There’s also a cycle to Mateer’s poems as well. At first, it’s the usual ode to love, but then it flows from nursing a broken heart to acceptance. Mateer’s raw, lyrical poetry and unabashed honesty will take you to the very depths of the human heart.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, August 14th, 2014||No Comments »|
At the 2002 National Poetry Convention, veteran poet Katie Makkal gave a rousing performance of her poem “Pretty.” Although the video is almost a decade old, the message behind the poem still has relevance for young women growing up in today’s society. Makkal channels the fear every teenaged girl has growing up—the terror of being considered ugly, the desire to be rich, and the longing to fit in with peers. Makkal uses humor to lash out at the mothers who feed into society’s belief that only beautiful women have worth. From plastic surgery to braces, so many women both young and old spend thousands of dollars trying to make themselves fit in with an unattainable ideal. Makkal muses that when she has a daughter one day, she will soothe her daughter’s insecurities and do what she can to stop the vicious cycle of self-hatred.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, July 17th, 2014||No Comments »|
Azra Tabassum’s poetry collection Shaking the Trees brings to mind all the passionate desire of your first love and the sheer innocence of youths who believe that they will be with their significant other forever. Her poems weave a beautiful love story by combining haunting imagery, such as getting lost in an ancient forest, and the interplay between dark and light. As her words seduce you, the romance merges into the woodsy landscape until you won’t be able to differentiate between the two.
From exploring what it’s like to “taste the forbidden fruit” of life to the world-shattering feeling of having your heart broken and being forced to pick up the pieces afterwards, Tabassum’s poetry is a thrilling adventure that shows the full emotional spectrum of love and loss. By the time you’re finished reading Shaking The Trees, you’ll be satiated by the excess emotions and left with a bittersweet feeling as you too are left to remember your first love and the magical days of youth where anything and everything seemed possible.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, July 15th, 2014||No Comments »|