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.
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.
The talented author and illustrator Lauren M. Hancock, (also known as Alice Well) got in touch with me earlier this month and swapped books, here’s my review of Our Whimsical World: Illustrated Stories.
Our Whimsical World offers bright rhymes, vibrant illustrations, and profound lessons. Majority of the characters are animals and inanimate objects that really plays into the whimsical theme. Yet they all face struggles and human emotions us, readers face throughout life. It was great to see so many issues touched on by the characters struggling with anxiety, death, hatred, sadness, and feelings of being left out.
The colorful illustrations brought an added layer to every story. The collection of short stories is broken up into 3 sections: For the Younger Ones, Slightly Older, and Older Ones. This really allows an array of readers to enjoy Lauren’s insightful stories. Some of my favorites were:
For the Younger Ones:
Morgan the Star Child for not letting the negativity around her bring her down and Super Sponge for using his talent to help heal others.
For the Slightly Older Ones:
Hippobottom the Heiress for her generosity and dedication to understanding victims and Bert the Turt and Trudy the Beet for showing readers what true friendship is and facing discrimation.
For the Older Ones:
My heart broke for Mother the Vase and her losses but my heart fills with laughter for The Prince Who Could Carry a Tune.
Get your copy from Amazon and check out Lauren’s Goodreads too!
Maria at Sampaguitas is a fantastic magazine to submit your piercing yet tender pieces to. The magazine encompasses so many different forms from short stories and essays to poetry and photography. If you’re a creative artist, definitely give them a look!
I lucked out by having a regular contributor Venus Davis review my collection Where I Ache!
“In Megan O’Keeffe’s honesty through poetry, I felt seen in a way that I never have before. This book felt like a gift from a close friend. This collection is a hand reaching out to hold the hand of anyone who has ever dealt with grief, depression, heartache, and the massive love for yourself that builds from going to hell and back.”
Read the Full Review here
I’m so thankful for any review I receive, if you are interested in my collection please get in touch! (email@example.com)
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.
I’m lucky to have another Where I Ache review coming in! Head over to Bookshine and Readbows for some awesome reviews!
“Where I Ache is a sizeable volume of poetry, split into six parts labelled with parts of the body that allude to their thematic emotional link. For example, the ‘Greedy Green Eyes’ section covers jealousy and longing in many of its poems.
In an easy-to-read, accessible writing style, Megan O’Keeffe presents poetry that anyone who has ever loved, longed for or lost can identify with. The majority of the poems are short – between one and three verses for the most part – but the emotions covered are huge and all-encompassing.”
you can read the whole review here, thanks again Steph!
Some more book review coming your way!!
It was so cool to see how this poet used the landscape of the page to draw in drama from spacing out words to isolating sentences. In a similar sense, she also used font size and boldness to highlight words. This gave extra depth to those poems and captured the reader’s full attention. It was very refreshing to read a poetry book that was not centered on love nor a relationship. I wish I understood the chapter title and division more, i feel silly that I wasn’t able to fully get it. This poet also spoke to our 5 senses very well, especially smell which I feel like was a theme throughout the collection.
Poe rotica is hot and STEAMY! This is absolutely Adults Only as it contains explicit details of some very adult activities! I found Poe rotica very unique as it wasn’t just your regular love or sex collection, it’s a collection that can be deeply admired by it’s community. For those not familiar with that community, it’s great sex education and cultural knowledge.
Rhyme schemes aren’t really my personal favorite, but an absolute favorite poem of mine was Tango (p42)! It’s a poetry form you don’t see often, it requires creative skill and, is really fresh in the current poetry world. Jupiter definitely has a passion for her work and she’ll have a great writing career.
I wanted to review some poetry collections since my collection Where I Ache has been getting some lovely buzz here on WordPress.
You might remember I actually interviewed Emily early this year as part of my Poet Interview Series. This might be my favorite poetry book I own! The trouble with Chapbooks is, you’re always left wanting more! I love the variety of topics that were included in this collection from family, dealing with losing someone, and finding strength within yourself. I was happy that these poems have titles since not all poetry books do that and I enjoyed the variety of how the poems were placed on the page. This poet also created great imagery and had me using all of my senses. I would definitely buy this poet’s next collection.
My absolute favorite thing about this collection was the poems that had bolded words creating a secondary poem within the overall one! The book didn’t have page numbers nor poem titles which was really only a bummer because it’s not as easy to go back and find your favorite poem. The collection touched on a lot of deep topics and emotions, it was philosophical and captivated my attention. I was really happy with how many poems got to be included in this one collection and that they weren’t all micropoetry. I can’t wait for the next publication!
Use of Bold and Italics; yes. Just yes. There is a difference between me using bold and me using italics. It just feelsdifferent. You know what I mean? Bold feels more like a statement, a fact, an emphasis. Italics feel fluid, stressed, an emotion laying within the words. It may just be me, however, and, in which case, ignore me.
Forms of poetry I didn’t know; This was nice for the simple grounds that I like learning new things and I learned of two poetry types: Abecedarian and Pantoum.
“We’re making angels out of monsters / in the dark.” – pg 6 (Please Don’t Sugar Coat This For Me)
“If You Don’t Like Me Now / Then You Never Really Liked Me / I haven’t become anyone / who I wasn’t already.” – pg 137
To read the full review visit Marlena’s site here
Where I Ache is a beautifully written collection of poetry. Each poem in this book really made you feel what the author was feeling. I could feel her pain and sorrow, her love and heartbreak. I can’t remember the last time a poetry collection made me feel so much. There was just so much emotion in every line of every poem.
I bookmarked so many while reading it, because of how much they moved me. I was stunned by how many of the poems really stood out to me. I just related to so many of them, in so many different ways. I fully expected this book to just be another Milk And Honey, but for me personally, it was much better.
Read the full review here via Book Review: Where I Ache by Megan O’Keeffe