Author: Analicia Sotelo
Date Read: April 11, 2018
Synopsis: Selected by Ross Gay as winner of the inaugural Jake Adam York Prize, Analicia Sotelo’s debut collection of poems is a vivid portrait of the artist as a young woman.
In Virgin, Sotelo walks the line between autobiography and myth-making, offering up identities like dishes at a feast. These poems devour and complicate tropes of femininity–of naiveté, of careless abandon–before sharply exploring the intelligence and fortitude of women, how “far & wide, / how dark & deep / this frigid female mind can go.” At every step, Sotelo’s poems seduce with history, folklore, and sensory detail–grilled meat, golden habaneros, and burnt sugar–before delivering clear-eyed and eviscerating insights into power, deceit, relationships, and ourselves.
Blistering and gorgeous, Virgin is an audacious act of imaginative self-mythology from one of our most promising young poets.
Continue reading “Book Review: Virgin by Analicia Sotelo”
Title: The Undressing
Author: Li-Young Lee
Date Read: March 25, 2018
Synopsis: The Undressing is a tonic for spiritual anemia; it attempts to uncover things hidden since the dawn of the world. Short of achieving that end, these mysterious, unassuming poems investigate the human violence and dispossession increasingly prevalent around the world, as well as the horrors the poet grew up with as a child of refugees. Lee draws from disparate sources, including the Old Testament, the Dao De Jing, and the music of the Wu Tang Clan. While the ostensive subjects of these layered, impassioned poems are wide-ranging, their driving engine is a burning need to understand our collective human mission.
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Here are all the books I completed from January to February 2018. Continue reading “January-February Wrap Up”
Here I’ve compiled the remaining reviews from the books I read in 2017. There are 15 reviews in total, and I apologize if there are any typos or formatting issues since I haven’t really proofread them (oops). But, without further ado, here are my reviews:
Continue reading “2017: The Long-Lost Reviews”
So you may have noticed that I’ve been a bit AWOL lately, and that’s because I just haven’t been in the right head space for a few weeks. But now I’m back in action, okay? Am I forgiven?
Because of this, I’m really behind on reviews. What I’ve decided to do is combine all of my remaining June and July reviews into this one post. It shouldn’t be toooo long because I’m going to make the reviews short, but we’ll see. (Spoiler: It’s kinda long.) Continue reading “It’s the Great Catch-up Round-up of June/July 2017, Charlie Brown!”
Title: Milk and Honey
Dates Read: May 4-5, 2017
Review: I love this book. In it are so many poems that affected me so much that I cried more than once in a single sitting while reading this collection. It’s separated into four chapters: “the hurting,” “the loving,” “the breaking,” and “the healing.” All of the ones that touched me the most deeply are from the chapter on healing. Normally with poetry, I list my favorite poems, but with this book there are so many (and most of them don’t really have titles). I’ll just list my absolute favorite poems/excerpts that I found the most visceral–the excerpts will be in single quotation marks.
Continue reading “Book Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur”
Title: No Coward Soul Is Mine
Year: 1993 (Brontë lived from 1818-1848)
Dates Read: April 30 – May 1, 2017
Favorite Poem: “When weary with the long day’s care”
Continue reading “Book Review: No Coward Soul Is Mine by Emily Brontë”