Finna: Poems by Nate Marshall

I don't feel I could possibly have the words to do justice to Nate Marshall's collection of poem, Finna. The cadences are exquisite; they sound like music in my mind. There's tension and release, perfectly placed pauses in between rushes of words. As I was reading, I was reminded of how AAVE is policed, suppressed, censored, and even mocked outside of its community. Nate Marshall hands it to readers in all its stunning glory, exploring the lives, survival, and culture of Black Americans. I hesitate to say these poems are social commentary, even though they certainly are, because that phrase feels reductive, as if this is some philosophical exercise by someone outside the experience, which of course isn't the case.…

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$50,000 by Andrew Weatherhead

Anyone who's experienced existential dread or a feeling of ennui will relate to this long poem. To be honest, I don't always do well with poetry. I often feel like I'm not really getting it, or like it's just trying to show off how smart it is. But Weatherhead's prose isn't stuffy like that. It hit me in a raw, real (and at the same time, surreal), down-to-earth way. Beautifully written.

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Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson

I read Andrea Gibson for the first time back in June, and once again, I'm in love with their poetry. Lord of the Butterflies is described in the About the Author section as "a book of protests, panic attacks, and pride parades. These poems riot against gun violence, homophobia, and white supremacy, while jubilating gender expansion, queer love, and the will to stay alive." It also says Gibson is "known for pulling hearts out of chests to either wrench or kiss". Yes, hundred times over, yes. I'm quoting because I honestly couldn't sum it up any better than that. Some of these poems make you want to stop reading and go share them with a friend, now. Others feel like private…

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Mini Reviews: Recent Favorites by Trans & Nonbinary Authors

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders This was an incredible reading experience! I loved the writing, I was fully invested in the characters, and I felt like I was part of its world. The blend of the scientific and the magical, sci-fi and fantasy, was super cool. The plot was exciting, but Anders also took the time to flesh out deeper themes such as loneliness. I know others have complained about the ending, but I felt like everything came full circle in a lovely, very satisfying way. . The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Daniel Mallory Ortberg I read this in one day, pretty much straight through! I couldn't get enough and wish the…

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Children’s Poetry: Over the River and Through the Wood

  Title: Over the River and Through the WoodEditors: Karen L. Kilcup and Angela SorbyPublisher: Johns Hopkins University PressExpected Release:January 5, 2014Source:I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.Find it on:    Oh, what a gem this book is! I'm ordering a copy first thing tomorrow. 592 pages of high quality children's poetry from 19th century America. Who knew there was so much out there?! The introduction is a brief but fascinating look into how we define "children's poetry," the advent of children's publishing, and the various ways in which children find poetry relevant to their lives.Over the River and Through the Wood is cleverly organized by topic: TWENTY of them, in fact. Talk about an educator's…

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