Hiatus

I hate to do this, but my writing and my studies come first, so don’t expect much up on the blog for a while. I’m still reading and will be giving basic ratings to things on Goodreads if you’d like to follow me there. Other than that, I’ll be keeping a list of what I’m reading and potentially updating this blog when time permits.

Book 4: Porridge by Richard Garcia

Richard Garcia came to Georgia College to perform a reading on the 24th of this month. I’d never had much experience with his work before, and so I went to the reading having read only a few of his poems. The reading itself seemed to highlight some of the stranger poems in the book, a few of which ranked among my least favorites, but most of which still contained strong lines and images. I purchased Porridge with the intention of getting to know Garcia’s writing a bit better.

Porridge is a collection of prose poems, one of my favorite forms both to write and to read. I enjoyed the first poem in the collection quite a lot, and found myself immersed in a few of Garcia’s themes. His writing is poignant yet subtle, a duality that is rare. Though I didn’t love every poem in the collection, I saw value in his willingness to challenge the genre and to combine so many motifs.

Garcia incorporates fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and even a few comic book heros into his poems throughout this collection. The poems each have a strong voice, be it an interesting if not eclectic voice at times.

I give the collection a 7/10.
Happy reading!

Book 3: [Redacted] by Trista Mateer 

For brevity’s sake, I’m writing this in the notes section of my iPhone and publishing through the app. I have decided not to continue linking books through Amazon, I didn’t get any bites and don’t really care to continue the process itself as you’re all people who can buy your books through whatever venue you desire. 
Book 3 for 2017 is Trista Mateer’s [Redacted], a collection of poetry that incorporates art, flowers, texts, and tweets. I enjoyed it for its content and Mateer’s reliably stunning poetry, but also for the barriers it broke down. It’s lovely to see a millennial poet succeeding in incorporating social media clips, different little things that mark our generation, in her works. The screencasts and tweets are loaded, they’re poetic in and of themselves. 

I think this little 60 page gem may have pulled me (at least half-way) out of the slump I’ve been in for a few weeks. I’ll be reading more now, for class and for myself, as well as writing much more. Expect to be linked to some published works from me soon, next month in fact. 

I give the book a 9/10, the only possible improvement being another 60 poems. Mateer wrote this almost entirely in the month of April, 2016. I aspire to that dedication to craft. 

Goodnight friends, and happy reading. 

Book 2: Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home by Erna Brodber

And so begins my course-readings for Spring semester, 2017! This short book crosses genres of fiction and nonfiction, allowing Brodber to write on her experiences while

I’m reading this and several other books by black women for my literature course, Contemporary Black Women Writers. The course is focused on black girlhood and coming of age, a bildungsroman through the black girlhood lens. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the weekly reads as far as complete books go.

Brodber wrote this novel through internal sociological perspective. She’s well respected in her field, and is an excellent writer to boot. This book is unlike anything I’ve ever read, written in vignettes with a timeline that is rarely linear. Nellie, the protagonist, struggles with the trauma that is coming from a culture that has been shattered by imperialism and attempting to rebuild it and find herself.

Brodber’s writing style in this novel is often compared to that of a prose poem, a comparison that I find to be well-founded. Her writing is lyrical, stunning in its unique imagery and style.

I give it a 9/10.

Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home

Happy reading,

Scarlett

Book 1: Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill

I wanted desperately to like this book of poetry. Though I didn’t purchase it, I did have my eye on it enough to enter giveaways on Goodreads, fortunately winning it last year. I was impressed to see something published by Thought Catalog as well, I wasn’t familiar with that aspect of the site until I got Your Soul is a River in the mail.

The book is broken up into eight sections of poetry, beginning with “Cosmos” and ending in “Heal.” Each section of poems had a theme, a concrete theme that was grounded in the poems it held, and I do laud Gill for her continuity.

I felt that overall this collection lacked a good deal in originality. Gill didn’t take the risks she could have in a lot of cases, opting instead to over-explain or attempt to make each poem into a micro lesson. Her style was good enough, but her poetry read as very young.

I do think a younger audience may quite enjoy this collection. As a poet I spend a good deal of my time analyzing what I read and assessing poems to see how they might be improved – Gill’s choice to draw on cliches was the biggest downfall for me, and I do sorely wish I had more positive comments on the work as a whole.

I give the book a 5/10.

Your Soul is a River

Happy reading!
PS: I’ll be a bit absent for a while as I’m having surgery tomorrow and likely won’t get much reading done for a few days. Best to all of you.

Challenges for 2017

Happy New Year friends and fellow readers,

My tentative reading goal for 2017 is 52 books.  I plan to read various genres, as I did in 2016, and to continue to read across multiple medias.

I’ve also decided to challenge myself in a new and interesting way; though I’ll still attempt to read at least 52 books, I’m going to do so while polishing off all of the books I’ve got lined up on my Kindle so far. 

A writing goal I’m working towards is publishing 10 times this year; ideally it’ll be across a few genres and formats – I’d like to publish more poetry for my career’s sake, as well as a couple of pieces of CNF, maybe some fiction, and a few articles. With a publish count of 7 poems this year (though five are through one site), I’m setting the bar high for myself.

I’ll keep today’s post brief for y’all and say goodbye for now.

Top 5 Books I Read in 2016

Keeping in mind that I rarely buy books new, some of these are old books. One will be releasing next year, so we’re ranging 80’s to 10’s.

I’ve decided to pick a top book from each genre that I’ve read this year. This list is in no way reflective of books that have come out in 2016, simply those that I have read in 2016.

Poetry: Fat Like The Sun by Anna Swir (1986)

Fiction: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (2000)

Nonfiction: The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison (1997)

Self Help: The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters by Emily Esfahani Smith (2017)

YA: Blood Don’t Lie by Aaron Levy (2016)

Keep in mind that my reading taste and yours aren’t likely to be the same, though I do wholeheartedly recommend these five books! If you’d like to read my reviews on them, simply search the title or author name in the sidebar.