Tag Archives: poem

Take Me with You by Andrea Gibson

takemewithyouBefore receiving an ARC of this book from Penguin‘s First to Read program, I was unfamiliar with poet and activist Andrea Gibson. This was the perfect little collection of poems to read while I was visiting family (and their related tensions) over the holiday season.

The collection is broken into three main sections (1: On Love, 2: On the World; and 3: On Becoming) and I found that most of the poems that resonated with me were in the second section (On the World), which is likely partially influenced by the fact that I spent the holidays in a house helmed by a conservative patriarch.

A lot of the poems in the first section (On Love) will probably be enjoyed by those that adore the Instagram poems about love — some were a little too gooey for me personally, but will probably also be the ones that are recreated with pretty lettering on Tumblr and Instagram. The third section (On Becoming) discusses coming out experiences in different ways (coming out of certain religious ideologies, not strongly identifying with the strict confines of gender, and who Gibson becomes romantically entangled with) and I can imagine they will be beautiful, reassuring messages to read when navigating similar experiences.

Some of the poems struck me more as mantras and calls to action than poems, but because this collection is written by an activist, they didn’t feel too out of place when included here.

The poems are all untitled so it’s hard for me list which poems I enjoyed the most, but I’ve included my two favorites below.

“They want you thinking you’re
bad at being a girl instead of
thinking you’re good at being
yourself. They want you to buy
your blush from a store instead
of letting it bloom from your 
butterflies. They’re telling you
to blend in, like you’ve never
seen how a blender works. like
they think you’ve
never seen the mess
from the blade.” (p. 96)

“Promise that who we
weep and fight and
tear down the sun
for will not only
be our own faces in 
the mirror.” (p. 87)

Disclaimer: I was provided with a digital copy of this book for free from Penguin via First to Read. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and have not been influenced by Penguin or First to Read.

Publication Date: 23 January 2018 by Plume Books. Format: E-book ARC.

Poet: Andrea Gibson web/@twitter/@instagram/tumblr


Salt is for Curing by Sonya Vatomsky

IMG_7973I scooped up this slim book of poetry from a delightful bookstore (Bluestockings Bookstore) on a recent trip to NYC. It was part of a turn out feature and I was intrigued by the cover and randomly flipping to a poem within the collection and immediately deciding, “Yes! I must have this!”

The collection is designed to follow a multiple course dinner menu and is broken into the following sections: Apertif, First Course, Second Course, Third Course, and Digestif. Some of the poems play up thematics of menus and cookbooks, with some poems being recipes for broken hearts that include some real ingredients (black pepper) and some nontraditional ingredients (tears).

This poems are largely about heartbreak, losing someone, grief, sharing yourself with another, and recovery, with bits of Russian, the language and cultural experiences and references, sprinkled in here and there. 

My favorite poems in the collection were, in chronological order: Chamomile, Spidersilk, The Serbo-Croation Language Uses the Same Word čičak for Burdock and Velcro, Dorian Gray, and the poem that shares the collection’s title, Salt is for Curing. 

Here’s a small bit from Salt is for Curing:

… Self preservation is an art and I
a masterpiece. The kind of thing you bow before
in museums but cross the street to avoid.
I don’t
haunted. Exactly. Maybe like a spice jar that’s holding
more inside than volume would suggest possible. My
little tin lid fits snug but the pressure
is really something …

Here’s a small bit from Spidersilk (in full here):

This is how you look when I spread myself before you like a picnic: 
here a little bottle of what makes me cry most, a glass
dish of my greatest fears, a ton of mille-feuille folded
from the kind of trust that gives your bones an earthquake,
sugared with the weight of my lashes on your shoulder as you sleep

Publication Date: 13 November 2015 by Sator Press. Format: Paperback.

Poet: Sonya Vatomsky web/@twitter/@instagram

Mini Review: salt. by Nayyirah Waheed

saltWhat a way to start 2017! I began embracing and newly appreciating poetry in 2016 which led me to Salt. I’ve been following the poet (Nayyirah Waheed) on Instagram for a bit where she regularly posts poems from salt. A lot of my favorite poems have been featured on her Instagram feed, but there are a ton of hidden treasures within the book that you won’t find by simply following Waheed.

I’ve included one of my favorite poems below that I’ve returned to repeatedly and shared with friends when I’ve felt like they needed it too.


in our own ways
we all break.
it is okay
to hold your heart outside of your body
at a time.

– heal