Where I Ache 6 months old!

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Where I Ache is 6 months old and I wanted to thank everyone on here, in the Poetry community, and the book blogger community for showing this project the love and support you all have!

At the end of the month, I’ll update everyone on my next project coming down the pipeline, until then check out these reviews and consider purchasing Where I Ache yourself on Amazon!

 

Some reviews from Goodreads, read them in full here

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Poetry Book Mini Reviews

 

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From My Years – Jamey Boelhower

 

This collection touches on reminiscing on past loves and past lives. A reader gets a melancholy feeling of childhood, school days, and relationships with parents. I really enjoyed the heartache and yearning of the past. This poet has great descriptions of the scenery in his poems. I really enjoy the writing style of repetition and line placement, I’d definitely read more collections from this poet. Some favorites in From My Years include Left at Home, Morning Memory, and Hate is a Loan Shark.

 

 

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Rose Petals Under a Reaper’s Robe: Unveiled – Vontress Ortega

 

You can absolutely feel all the anger, betrayal and determination coming off the pages in this collection. This collection is right up my alley with its writing style, I loved it! Vontress touched on so many topics that are personal for me involving relationships, self love, and current society. This collection felt very cathartic and I really enjoyed going through that emotional journey with the speaker. I would recommend this collection to just about every girl friend of mine.

 

Days when your world’s on a tilt

I take it all so personally

Can’t seem to let the wrong words go

I just want to stay in bed all day

Shut the blinds and close out the world

Call in sick to work

Think about texting my selfish ex.

I’m just having one of those days

where I’m grinding my teeth

just to make it through.

 

– July 2019

Interview with Poet Jason Yearick -Installment 14

Today we meet up with poet Jason Yearick. He touches on so many diverse topics in his poetry, you must visit his website because I’m sure there will be something there each person can enjoy! Jason puts so much thought into every poem he creates, there are new layers you’ll notice after each read. Let’s get started!

 

You have some really creative and cool use of paper real estate in poems such as Matthew 14:30 and GSP poems, what extra elements do you think word placement adds to a poem?

It depends on the intention of the word placement. As with punctuation within a piece, word usage through placement, fonts, colors, letter grouping, etc. has to be something more than, “I think putting this word over here would look cool.” At least, that’s my approach. Otherwise, if one’s randomly placing words over the real estate of the paper then word placement probably isn’t adding anything beneficial to a piece.

I’m glad that you chose Matthew 14:30 and GPS since the two pieces have different intentions for their word placement and the elements that are added to each piece are different.

I used to perform spoken word poetry in Southern California and Matthew 14:30 is a piece that attempts to capture the performance of the piece if it were performed. Specifically, the spacing of letters and non-linear directions indicate the movement of the speaker and, hopefully, contribute to the visual aspect of the piece when read. Another critical aspect of the piece is that there probably aren’t very many people who are familiar with this Bible verse, so the word placement, character placement, and directional placement all contribute to not having to have read the verse but allow the reader to grasp what is taking place within this verse.

GPS is a more overt attempt to reveal some of the multi-layer meanings that I put into my poetry while accentuating contrasting ideas within the internal struggle of, “Who am I? What’s my purpose in life?” GPS was formatted to be read as one more than one piece and word placement was critical in achieving this goal. In GPS, the left-most justified words reflect this internal dialogue of the speaker questioning their life purpose. The further left the words are placed, the more grounded the thoughts are in the speaker’s mind. Those further to the right reflect stray thoughts during this questioning. Reading from top to bottom reveals, hopefully, these different thought patterns that can take place within the human mind concurrently with each thought pattern reflecting the weight of those thoughts.

 

What do you hope readers take away from reading your poetry?

That’s a tough question. When someone reads a piece of mine I want them to want to go back and read it again. I don’t want my poetry to be popcorn poetry that someone reads once and say’s, “That’s nice” and then never thinks about it again. I write across so many topics that my hope is that readers understand what I’m trying to communicate in my pieces. That’s where multi-layered themes can shine. Different people can walk away with different meanings from the same piece. This is why I love it when someone leaves a comment. Likes and follows are great and most appreciated. However, a comment can help me to become a better poet.

 

Why has it been important to you to write about your Faith?

The most important relationship to me in my life is my relationship with God. All of the work that I’ve done, everything that I am, comes from the Lord. My identity is rooted in my faith, so it’s important that I’m going to write about it. Most importantly though is that I let others know of what God has done in me and through me. I have been healed of so much in my life from heartache to an “incurable” physical illness. God has done so much for me that I want other people to know that He can do the same for them.

God has gotten a bad rap. I think a lot of people if they think about God, think about the people who profess to follow Him and what they’ve done, not done, said or not said. God is love and it’s important to me to let people know that there’s someone who knows all about them and loves them.

 

You have many subcategories in your Angst of Loving category, which is your favorite to write about and why?

Each subcategory is an element of love that I broke down into different aspects. Loss is the most beneficial and hopeful category for me. It’s not my favorite to write about but it probably contains the most healing. Loss is where I can find humility in relationships past and discover that it’s better to have lost then to have held onto something because it feels “good.” Loss allows for negative emotions to be healed and to help prevent me from making the same mistakes twice. Whether it be letting someone go or going myself. There’s a lot to be said for loss.

Interview with Poet DeVonne White – Installment 13

Today we welcome DeVonne White to the blog! We’ll explore how meditative and healing poetry can be! Poetry is an amazing way to express thoughts and work through struggles.  Let’s talk to DeVonne about how inspiring it is to write about her faith!

 

How has poetry strengthened your faith?

Most of the poetry I write is scripture driven. I’ll read a piece of scripture and as I meditate upon it, let it stir around in my heart and mind, a poem will make itself known. The great thing about that is I’m really taking my time with what the Word of God is saying. It has built my faith more than anything else I’ve done. More that a retreat, conference, even church. That personal time meditating on God’s word is truly faith-building.

2019 has been a very difficult year for my family, we lost both of our Dad’s within twelve weeks of one another. Mixed in with our own grief, we have been walking alongside our grieving mothers. Writing poetry, that stands on scripture, has truly brought peace to this restless mind of mine.

What is your favorite poem (or two) of yours?

My Most favorite lately is:

The Hope-Giver

He is the Hope Giver

The Hope Filler

Her Overflowing Hope

 

She hopes for what is unseen

Cupping her hands

Holding her cup close

She waits patiently

 

Drops of hope begin to fall

Her cup, once empty,

Fills with a living hope

Her eyes see, what was once unseen

 

The Hope Giver never stops pouring

Never stops filling

He fills her with His peace

His joy, His love

Her cup overflows

 

What is your daily writing routine?

I am a note taker. All through out the day I will think of words or phrases. I write them down or type a note in my phone. Then in the evening I sit with my laptop and start putting those notes together. Like piecing together a puzzle. I let that poem sit for a day or two, and then come back to it and edit. I must say, I enjoy the entire process and find myself restless when I’m not working on a project. I am happiest when creating.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

I think it would have to be ‘Faithful’

I try my best to be faithful to the Lord and His calling on my life. That calling can look different each day. Somedays I am working on writing or storytelling projects. Other days, like recently, I’ve been caring for my Mom after a recent surgery and balancing my day job at an insurance agency.

I strive to be faithful in all things. Faithful to the Lord, to my husband, children our extended family and friends. I want to be that person who stands by her people, who is there and is present, in the big things and the small ones.

To connect with DeVonne, visit her:

Blog

Instagram

Facebook

The choice to self publish

The dream for me had always been to be picked up by a big publishing company in the future of my writing career. I knew that would not happen right away and self publishing some books would almost be like building up a resume. I could grow my own fan base, I would be showing that I’m not just a one hit wonder, and I would show that I have the passion and commitment to continue on for many more years. 

 

There’s definitely stress and frustration that comes with putting a book together but I do love having control over every decision and making my collection EXACTLY how I want it. As I’ve never been traditionally published, I don’t know when the hand off happens exactly. But I’m sure there’s Cover Designers and Illustrators that can give your collection a complete makeover – a makeover you may not want. You can be included in the conversation but how could you disagree with the professionals if you didn’t like the design?

 

A big plus of signing with a traditional company is the marketing resources that can be dedicated to getting your book to consumers’ hands. When you self publish all the marketing and promoting falls on you. The thing is I’ve seen some collections that were published by traditional companies but barely have 50 reviews on Amazon. I know reviews don’t equal sales but one of the big 5 publishing houses should have enough resources to ensure their books are being promoted well. 

 

Traditional publishing companies have been in the industry for a long time, they have a lot of connections, and they know all the ins and outs to get your book in front of the right people. But will they use that knowledge on you, that’s no guarantee as this recent thread on Twitter speaks to. 

 

After publishing my first two collections, I’ve learned I want control of all creative decisions and I want as much promotional help as possible, it seems there are plenty of examples in the industry that traditional companies don’t help me with either of those things. 

 

Being picked up by a publishing company could be the greatest thing to ever happen to your writing career. It could be the greatest to happen to mine as well, I’m just saying that I no longer feel that hungry desire to chase after one of the big 5 houses. I’m happy self publishing. It’s difficult at some points and I know traditional would have it’s own difficulties as well. Self publishing has been making steady strides in this industry for years and I am here for it’s next step.

 

Interview with Poet Vontress Ortega- Installment 12

I’d like to welcome Vontress Ortega as our next guest! Vontress is a four time published author with her newest “Tainted Soil” released just last month! Her collections touch on character development, self empowerment, love, and betrayal. Vontress is incredibly talented and relatable, I had a hard time putting down her Unveiled collection and I’m sure you’ll all feel the same way once you read this interview!

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What’s the creative idea behind having the titles at the end of the poems?

I felt that the title being at the bottom of the poem was more like a “ signature”
and the poems were letters to the readers.

‘Masquerade’ speaks so well to conforming to social norms, can you talk more about the inspiration behind that poem?

The inspiration behind the poem came from scrolling down my timeline. I have
seen so many people that I know personally change themselves to fit in with that
they THINK is going on in someone else’s life based on social media posts. We
like what we see and then begin to question ourselves so much that we start to
change so that we are out of the ordinary.

 

I think the Unveiled collection touched social media in relationships, how do you think they affect each other?

I do feel that social media is sometimes damaging to relationships that don’t
have solid foundations. They affect how we feel about ourselves and our peers. Because
in our minds we have been programmed to see only surface and not substance.

 

How would you describe ‘Unveiled’ in one sentence?

Shedding light on our broken pieces !

I would like to share the Non Profit organization that I am apart of. It is called Your Hearts Deziare. It is a Women’s Empowerment and Support group. We help women who have suffered from life’s traumas and help them build self confidence and work on their mental and emotional health through beauty, retreats and art expression.

 

To get in touch with Vontress visit her:

 blog

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

 Amazon page

Interview with Poet Paul Webb – Installment 11

DDateable travels again!! This time we’re in Brazil with Paul Webb! Paul is a poet, translator, and English-language teacher, just to name a few! And quite an educated man, Webb holds a BA in Theology, a Master’s degree in Modern Languages and a Doctorate in Sociology. Naturally my first question will have to be about Language to a translator and teacher, so here we go!

 

Studying all the languages you have, how does language play a role in your poetry?

I would say that, at root, all my poems are about language. Poetry is about humanity and everything human is mediated by language. People say that the human brain is the most complex object in the universe. But language is more complex, because language is the product of billions of human brains working together throughout history.

When I moved to Brazil, I became keenly aware of the Englishness of English as a historically determined cultural, political and socio-economic artefact. I try to bring this out in my work: favoring Anglo-Saxon over Latinate lexis, using lots of phrasal verbs and grammatical and phonetic features that are characteristic of English and reflect its history of seafaring, free-market capitalism, industry and the like.

 

You mention various phases your poetry went through, which has produced your best work? (i.e French, Brazil, English / punk and rap)

I don’t really have the right to make that judgment for myself. I would say, however, that I feel more comfortable with my own voice now than I ever have done before. In the early phases, I was very dependent stylistically on certain masters: Francis Ponge, João Cabral, William Carlos Williams, and so forth. At other times my work was more exploratory, diffident, experimental. Now I always know exactly what I want as soon as I start a piece. That doesn’t mean it comes easily; I still have to craft. In fact, I tend to craft more, because I know now what I am working towards.

 

How has your life journey influenced your work?

As a general rule, I don’t write about myself or my life. I am interested in certain themes and follow these in my work. These themes necessarily derive in some measure from my experiences and the times in which I live. But I am not a confessional poet; nor does my work aim to reach out to people in a touchy-feely way. I can give two examples of these overarching themes rooted in issues that trouble me. One concerns the ambivalent nature of language itself. The way it simultaneously endows us with the great gift of being able to connect with other human beings and the world, yet also provides us with a set of tools that can equally well be applied to fostering exclusion and alienation and destroying the natural environment. This is perhaps explored most extensively in my series Thirty Sonnets on Autism, which was based on the experience of living with an autistic boy. In these poems, true closeness comes ironically from a denial of language, from a closing or shrugging off of neurologically typical language-bound human relations.

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The other theme is that of comfort and convenience as harbingers of self-destruction. The very facility of modern life contains the seeds of its own demise. The pursuit of happiness so often produces its opposite, especially in relationships. The theme is a pressing one in an age in which the pursuit off convenience and freedom from distress
is, in fact, ruining our mental health and poisoning our natural habitats. I first addressed this theme in an apocalyptic poem entitled Expurosis, in which the fires of the end of the world are described in terms of home and hearth and comforting warmth.

 

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

I wouldn’t write a book about my life because either it would be brutally honest and reflect badly on me or wholly dishonest and hence pointless. Besides, my life hasn’t been very interesting. There are far more important things to write about. My last selection of poems was entitled Fun and Suffering. That pretty much sums life up.

 

Is your work political?

Yes. My work has become more and more political over the years, although not in an overtly party-political or ideological way. I spent 25 years trying to write an idiosyncratic translation of Catullus Poem 64 .

When it finally came together, it was late 2016 and we had had the election of Trump and the Brexit referendum and I realized that, for a long time, I had been trying to write about the social forces that unleashed these results. Not that I support Trump or Brexit, but I hail from the ranks of the dispossessed working classes that do and I feel I understand why. Since then, it has become a mission to address these subjects, however painful. My next long poem series—17—was about a mass shooting.

 

What are your main aesthetic principles?

I have a very clear personal poetics, which is influenced in part by the principles that underpin the Dogme style of film-making. Like Dogme film-makers, I aim to avoid all artificial devices: rhyme schemes, formal rhythm, fancy language and the like. I try not to write anything in a poem that would sound out of place in everyday life. Poetry, for me, is about finding music and beauty in ordinary (even vulgar) language use, not about imposing an artificial or sentimentalized formal structure upon it.

If you want to see more of Paul’s work, head to his blog here

 

Interview with Poet Jupiter Grant- Installment 10

Today we travel across the pond to UK poet and blogger Jupiter Grant! Jupiter recently released her saucy debut collection “Poe-rotica” which I reviewed and we’ll talk about today! We learn much more about the depth and insight of the collection from this interview so let’s hop right into it.

 

A good chunk of your collection is written in rhyme schemes, what do you enjoy about rhyming?

The “sing-song” quality of rhyming poetry appeals to me. I like it’s rhythms and beats. When I have a rhyming couplet in my head, there’s a tempo that inevitably accompanies it, and I find myself tapping out the beats as I write. 

As I say in my introduction, I grew up with the work of an English poet called Pam Ayres. I don’t know whether she was ever well known outside of the UK, but she’s very famous here. Her poems were always in rhyme schemes, and they were always very funny. I recommend everyone look for clips of her reading her work. There are lots on YouTube and, for me, they still stand up decades later.

If you won the lottery, (or your book sold a million copies overnight!) what is the first thing you would do?

After jumping up and down excitedly, and possibly fainting from the shock, I would immediately hand in my notice at work, and buy a house or a flat overlooking the sea where I could spend all my time writing, reading and walking along the beach. My absolute dream location is the west coast of the UK, Cornwall or Devon, but I guess the Caribbean would be fine, too. 😉

 

There are some predominant english words such as ‘shag’ and ‘wanking’ as well as French words which i think adds another layer in the collection, how do you think language plays a role in poetry?

I think the beauty of colloquialisms is that they speak to the shared linguistic heritage of a group of people. For me as a reader, if I encounter a word, phrase, or reference that is perhaps peculiar to my own cultural and linguistic heritage, I feel like I’m sharing an in-joke with the author: in that moment, we “get” each other, we’re on the same page. To give an example, in a recent fiction I wrote there was a reference to “Ann Widdecombe”. She is a well known, indeed infamous, right-wing politician here in the UK. Had I changed it to “Margaret Thatcher” (which I had considered doing) more people would have understood the reference, but it would have seemed anachronistic and out-of-touch. As it was, the context of the sentence meant that a reader didn’t need to be familiar with Widdecombe’s name to understand the inference. 

Also, colloquialisms or foreign words and phrases can often capture an idea very effectively in a short word or phrase, where one might otherwise need a more “wordy” stanza to achieve the same effect, or can express a concept more poetically or sensually (e.g. soixante neuf). That’s a useful tool for any writer, I think. 

Though words like shag and wank are not commonplace in the US, I suspect that anyone who’s watched an Austin Powers film would still get the reference, so I didn’t feel concerned that using these terms would confuse or alienate a non-UK readership. And I like throwing a bit of that kind of Brit-speak in because it’s a reflection of how I talk, and I find that no matter what I’m writing, there’s usually a chunk of me in there somewhere.

 

There are some religious references such as Eden’s Garden and Christ-like which is an interesting juxtaposition to the collection’s theme, could you share a bit more about the thought process?

I have always been fascinated by the interplay of sex and religion. There are countless academic studies that explore the interconnectedness of the two. Sex and the mystico-religious experience are both associated with ecstasy, love, communion with a/ The beloved. If you read the works of many of the most well-known Christian mystics and saints, there is a very strong vein of sensuality and almost orgasmic intensity in their religious experiences. St Teresa of Avila is a perfect example, but there are countless others.

I think also that in the same way regional colloquialisms can enhance meaning in one’s writing, the language of religion also forms part of our shared nomenclature. As readers, regardless of whether we are believers within a religious tradition, most of us will still have at least a basic familiarity with the concepts of, for example, the garden of Eden, karma, Nirvana, a Bat- or Bar-Mitzvah, the hajj, etc. 

 

Where do you hope the future takes you, writing-wise?

I share the same dream as arguably every other author on the planet, which is to be able to write full-time. I don’t have any grand delusions of being the next JK Rowling or Danielle Steel. As long as I could earn just enough from writing to keep a roof over my head, keep enough basics in the cupboard, and keep the WiFi running, I’d be in seventh heaven. 

I’d like to have finished writing and editing my first novel by the end of 2019. I really enjoy blogging short fiction and poetry, and I fully intend to keep doing that. I’ve met such amazing, supportive and simply wonderful people through my blog, and I don’t know how I ever got along without them in my life!

 

What was the first song/album/artist you fell in love with?

I was an ABBA fan from the time I was a toddler. But the first artist and song that I remember being absolute obsessed with was Kate Bush and “Wuthering Heights”. My second cousin had the ’45, and my family couldn’t get me out the door while it was playing. In the end, she was somehow persuaded to give me the record, as well as her copy of “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer. (I’m sorry for nicking your records, J!). Thus began a life-long love affair with Kate Bush. I think she’s magical. 

 

Connect with Jupiter on her

Blog

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon