Book Review of “Abandoned Breaths Poetry, Quotes, and Poetic Prose” by Alfa

Alfa’s first book of poetry is a treasure. A collection of poems, quotes and prose that are filled with maturity and experience. This is what makes Alfa’s poems so relatable, the fact that her words are full of knowledge and experience. A wise poet passing on advice on how to fall in and out of love. Her writing is natural and effortless.
Alfa need only go by one name, like Madonna, because she has superpowers in her diction. Alfa describes love, heartbreak, sorrow, loss and healing all in one poem. This is her gift; how she can combine all these emotions and feelings in one quote or line. There is a plethora of quotes in “Abandoned Breaths” that are perhaps familiar if you follow her on social media. This familiarity in Alfa’s writing is what makes her work so authentic. Her soul, her poetry, her quotes, are essentially her “superpowers” which she portrays with a tactful grace.

“Never make the mistake

of thinking a quiet soul

is an empty one.”

This quote is a popular one of hers that we can find on her social media pages. Evdience of this is how her words are tattooed on people’s skin.

I especially like the longer pieces that are full of soul-searching. Every page is a storm full of words. Let her rain soak you.

I had the pleasure of also editing this book and being part of the production, but last week I sat with it and read it as a reader. I held on to it for a few days and read some passages over and over. I never close the door to poems. I feel that Alfa’s book is one that I will read to help me in times of need. No fluff here.

“Abandoned Breaths” is an honest and inspiring book that can reach out to millions over any type of sorrow or loss they may experience.
Alfa has a universal way of touching your soul through her simple and direct words that make a lasting impression. I would highly recommend this debut poetry book. It is a gem. Check our her blog and other sites below for yourself.
Social Media:

http://www.alfapoet.com

http://www.facebook.com/alfawrites

http://www.instagram.com/alfa.poet

Twitter:@alfa_poet
Her book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/099805030X/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=

5 tips for Editing Poetry Books

I have recently edited a few poetry books for fellow poets. I find that most poets, find it hard to edit their own poems and a second opinion is sometimes necessary to get out of their own head. I must admit that I never hired a poetry editor for my three poetry books, but I had a particular vision and look that I knew I wanted for my poems.

If you are looking for a poetry editor or you are editing your poems yourself here are 5 tips that worked for me and how I go about editing poetry books.

  1. After every draft, you should put your manuscript away for over two weeks and clear your mind. As many times as you go through your manuscript, is as many times you must put it aside. This ensures that you start fresh every time and believe me, every time you read it, you will find something that you need to correct or revise. Do this up until there is nothing left to rewrite. Do not settle until you feel your book is done. Eventually, you will know.
  2. You can divide your poetry book into sections or parts with titles so that it flows for the reader. Also, a table of contents with the list of poems at the beginning of the book is always helpful to quickly find a poem. Lately, some poets are not using any titles or table of contents…if you choose to do so, make sure that you divide your book into sections such as loss, healing, love, death, etc. so that there is some kind of order. There are not many rules in poetry and anything may go for certain poets, but in my experience, the books that have no titles or breaks are hard to read and difficult to distinguish one poem from the next.
  3. Every poetry book needs a Copyright page, a Dedication page, Acknowledgements page, at the beginning of the book and an About the Author Page at the end of the book. Number your pages. Look at the poetry books in your library and see how the professionals do it.
  4. Format, font and presentation are an integral part of a poetry book. Pay an expert to create your file in pdf with the appropriate poetic fonts and alignments. Equally, cover art and a blurb brings the book together as a whole.
  5. Make sure the poetry editor you hire has experience, knowledge and a grasp of poetic terms.

Good luck in the editing process, this is the hardest part of writing. As Ernest Hemingway wrote, ” The first draft of everything is shit.”

 

 

 

 

Poetry Book Review of Hush by Nicole Lyons

I read Hush twice in the past couple of weeks, and honestly I intend to go back to many poems again and again. 
Nicole Lyons, is a force of nature, as her biography states at the end of the book. The only thing wrong with this poetry book is that it ends. I could have read more, I wanted to read more!
Nicole Lyons’ poems take us to different types of relationships, but the pain and loss of oneself in a certain type of abusive relationship is what stuck with me. Throughout her poems, the narrator is constantly suffering over loving someone that has these two sides to himself, the one with the beautiful eyes and the one that can punch walls. There are some brilliant long pieces of poetry that are full of visual imagery and events. “I Have Fallen” is a poem that is close to a climax in a novel. It describes

the narrator,

“swirled to the bottom

of a bottle of Jack, stuck

to the blade after

after the perfect line was cut.”

Here we can imagine a girl harming herself and falling hard. Later in the same poem she continues,

“I have died

one hundred deaths

to appease doctors,

and family, and friends,

and I did it all

in the name of sanity.”

She is trying hard to keep it together but at some point, she can no longer and goes through her breakdown, and gets comforted by “strangers” where she heals and becomes, “the exquisite jewel that I am.”

This poem is brillant in the ways it portrays the narrator’s suffering, pain, suicide attempts and her rebirth. 
There are so many poems that I have folded the tip of the edges to read over in Hush. 

It is a poetry book to be kept close by at an arm’s reach. 

Get yourself a copy of this tremendous poetry book. Nicole Lyons is a poet who has written a debut collection that is brilliant and unique. Her poetic voice stands alone among crowds. 

I hope you check out all her social media platforms below.
Nicole Lyon’s website : Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/nicolelyonspoetry 
Site is

http://www.thelithiumchronicles.org
Twitter is

@LithChronicles
IG @nicolelyonspoetry

Ageless

I know that age matters not

right now, but then it did.

It mattered when we raced against

the wind. I was just a babe in your arms.

You were a man even as a teenager.

You had this way of bringing me love

on a tray, and spoiling me until

I was full on your love. I had it

all, for a brief time. I showed you

my cuts and bruises

and you kissed them. Your lips

on my shoulders within seconds.

My hands unbuckling your belt

in such a frantic youthful way

in an ageless time

between this world and the next.

Let’s remember where we were

and lament the age of us.

It matters that you see past

the girl. We felt invincible

and will never know that freedom

again, that youthful love we held

onto so naurally.