Book Review of Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

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Pulling Words is like Pulling Weeds for Nicholas Trandahl

Rating: Five out of Five stars

Nicholas Trandahl is one of my favorite contemporary poetic voices. I have read his poetry books before and every time I am amazed at the simple brilliance. His approach is methodical, reflective, environmental and brutally honest. Trandahl’s new poetry book published by Winter Goose Publishing is his best yet. Trandahl captures, nature, war, peace, love and family life in such divine poems that reflect nature and the beauty of everyday life. He finds the extraordinary in the ordinary and this is what makes Nicholas Trandahl a true poet. His ability to see thunder, rain, war zones through his quiet eyes. He is a peaceful man, and his beautiful soul is pulling words out of the universe with exquisite gestures.

There are so many poems in this collection that reached out to me and touched me. In particular, “The House on Pine Street” this poem describes the poet and his childhood home, how memories of riding bikes with friends, first kisses, innocence and that unique bond we have with our first home. Some memories are cherished and some we try to forget. His attention to detail and imagery is so accurate you feel as if you are looking at the home standing right next to him. You are observing and feeling his memories too. This is the the true nature of literature to share your art through the magic of words.

Here are the poems I read over and over again and will continue to do so.

“Maybe Poets Are Not Liars” just by the title I knew I would love this poem as a poet I understood it.

“Decaying Qualities”

I’m reading Mary Oliver

because there is no poet on earth

better to read

in the quiet sunshine.”

This poetry book is a must read for readers who adore Mary Oliver and Jim Harrison, this genre of poetry brings reminds me why I love poetry so much.

“Belgium”

The swell of time

is illuminated with

terrible moments-

more being born

each golden morning. ”

In “Things To Appreciate” Nicholas Trandahl shows us once again how to appreciate the moment, the objects that bring us joy in that moment, such as a book, a typewriter, smoking a pipe, having a cocktail. We see throughout his work that capturing these moments in poems is his forte. The times he is surrounded by his family and feels the love, these are the moments we all go through but rarely stop to think that it is fleeting. This is the magic of being a true poet, living in carp diem and writing about it. Trandahl captures these moments and paints them on his poetic canvas. Time and place is essential, his poems visit Wyoming, Martha’s Vineyard and deep forests. As someone who spent many childhood summers in The Cape, I understand the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard and relate to the scenery described, as well. Towns, cities are also relevant to Trandahl’s poems. The feeling one gets upon looking at quaint towns in the New England coast, can also bring back childhood moments.

 

Another theme throughout this book is war and the brutal nature of it. Equally, solitude and finding yourself as an individual by being truly alone and listening to yourself. This is so hard for most people to do, but as a poet, this is essential. The escape from the every day life and the solitude required to write, the discipline, the calmness. Trandahl evokes that calmness with his description of nature and his walks with his family and daughters. Everyone is in this book whom he loves. There is no particular order, there is only the poet’s observation.

 

Trandahl’s reflective poems makes the reader think about all that is important in the universe and not once is money brought up. This is the wisdom and power of words that have experience. When a poet has so many experiences in his or her life, there is more to discover about human nature and our motivations. If there is anything positive I can take from reading Pulling Words, it is to appreciate the moments that we have with our family, the universe and our own life experience.

 

Nicholas Trandahl writes at the edge of the Black Hills of Wyoming, where he lives with his wife and children.

Twitter: @PoetTrandahl

Facebook: Poet Nicholas Trandahl

You can purchase his book here:

 

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A punch drunk poet: Book Review of Stupid Flowers by Brice Maiurro

IMG_42595 out of 5 stars.

I have to say receiving a signed copy of this book in the mail was a real treat. I loved it from the first page and the first look. I know when a poetry book will be one of my favourites or not, by the feel, look and glancing at a few poems,  I instantly knew this one would be one of them. Brice Maiurro’s debut poetry book, Stupid Flowers is a poetry book with a certain rawness to it that I could relate to.

Brice Maiurro brings in actual events, whether true or not, and combines them in every day poetry. Written in lowercase and with unusual witty titles each poem stands out for its own quirky themes. Titles such as, “Talking to God Over Shitty Coffee at Denny’s” make you smile and by the end of the poem, make you reflect on life, destiny and society as well as church. Maiurro has a way of stirring the poetry pot with the important ingredients floating on top and the mundane sinking to the bottom. In the poem “3015 Kamia” there is a section that I read over and over again.

“i’ve been taught to look at the mountains

the sky the trees the murals on the sides of buildings

but you reminded me how god hides

in the places you’d least expect to see her”

What I adore about these four lines is how poetry, the way it is supposed to be written, should not tell you what the poem is about, but should hint and leave it open-ended. First off, he compares man made art, such as murals, to the sky and in doing this he includes the concrete with the abstract, to emphasize his point of beauty and attraction is not limited to nature, as most poets feel; in essence, we see it as we drive or walk in the city. Murals are an oddity, because people do stare and love art on walls; the grandiose and mystery of it, the colours and the talent, this alongside god being a woman, is a poem that leaves you in a reflective mood.

Each poem and use of stream of consciousness leaves you to interpret this poetry book with all its implications. Poetry is ambiguous, this is what most people find hard to understand about poetry. By leaving some things unsaid, you, the reader, fill in the details, and Brice Maiurro, does an exceptional job of this. The interpretation of his poems leaves the reader to imagine what and this is what literature is all about.

There was one poem, “dear maria” which especially touched me and made me cry. Not only is my daughter’s name, coincidentally Maria, but she is also going through her own little turmoil as a teenager, and this poem was reflective of all the maria’s. I made her read it, and at sixteen, she wants to read this poetry book. It is an outstanding poem, and by far, my favourite of this whole collection.

Brice Maiurro makes up his own composition of life with these poems in Stupid Flowers. This is a debut collection of poetry by this poet out of Denver, Colarado, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work in the future.

I think this is a valuable book, in consideration of what other poetry books are out there circulating in the poetry section.  This book reflects the heart of a true poet with a talent to see the unseen.

Short Bio:
Brice Maiurro is a poet out of Denver, Colorado. Stupid Flowers marks his first full collection of poetry, published by Punch Drunk Press. His poetry has been featured by The Denver Post, Birdy Magazine and Suspect Press. His poetry blog, Flashlight City Blues, was recognized as one of the top 25 poetry blogs online by Feedspot. Brice also enjoys road tripping. His goal is to visit every National Park in the United States.

Published by Punch Drunk Press Ltd.IMG_0800

Instagram: @maiurro

Twitter: @IAmBricesTweets

 

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Book Review of “Bones in the Garden” by McKayla Debonis

Book Review of “Bones in the Garden”

by McKayla Debonis

 

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My Rating: 4/5 stars

This poetry book is adorable, even though it is about heartache, McKayla Debonis has written a book that takes place during a painful breakup, it also illustrates a resourceful and strong-willed woman. I am so excited to get a signed copy by the author for my collection. I cherish poetry books, and especially signed copies! I know how much time and energy a poet spends in creating a book and it is an extension of our own soul.
“Bones in the Garden” is a small, compact book that is more of a chapbook, than a full-length poetry book. It consists of seventy-nine pages with poems that are a couple of lines per page, the longer pieces consisting of half a page.
The poetic form of this poetry book influences the reader as does the poem, namely, the micro-poetry collection inside of this book, so hence poems have their own effect quite apart from the content. For instance, a sonnet, speaks with precise logic, but here in this poetry book, the form is free verse and open-ended. The messages of these poems reinforces the thought of the poem, which is basically a broken heart and spirit.
The poems are easily understood. The word “bones” is a central theme throughout the book, italicized for emphasis, but at times that may seem overly stated.
The poem
“Bones ii
Deep in my bones I know that I
will never be the same again”

In essence, Debonis is telling us how every relationship changes us and after a hurtful and emotionally abusive one, we will never be the same. I feel that these simple statements are more sentences than poems. She has written a poetry book full of lovely quotes that can lift one’s spirit and broken heart.

I have included some photos of my favourite pieces. My favourite poem is “Barren Wasteland.”

 

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The illustrations by Rachel Aquino add a special quality to the book. This is a cute book to have in any collection.

McKayla Debonis can be found on the social media sites below.

She has a beautiful website at http://www.mckayladebonis.com
Her book can be purchased at all on-line bookstores.
Twitter: @mckayladebonis
Goodreads : McKayla Debonis
Instagram: @mckayladebonis
Her email: mckayladebonis@gmail.com

 

 

Book Reiew of “Deciduous” by Higherhawk

Higherhawk has written a poetry book divided into three sections. Love, Grief and Life. Each part reveals a depth to his poems and emotions. There are mostly short poems full of longing and love. Each poem has a title so it is easy to refer back to the poems. “Open Sea” is one that stood out for me, “There is a stillness that falters out in the open sea. Something beyond the calm pulling at my soul, or is that your echo calling me home.”

The pull of the sea and love is compared in a wise analogy. In the poem, “The Veil,” the poet reveals a deep connection with a woman who has touched the poet’s soul with her love.

The illustrations by Lee Zimmerman are a wonderful accompaniment to this lovely poetry book. Some poems have illustrations to reflect the words, such as, “Slips Further: Pen and Ink”


Higherhawk writes romantically and reflects on nature often. He writes about desire and loving a woman as if it were an art. He describes it in detail in the poem, “Clay” where we see how much he adores and cherishes the woman or muse he describes.


Love is comforting in this book; to be loved and to love in return, like the greatest love story, two lovers in a tunnel of love in the middle of the forest or in each other’s arms. The forest is a constant theme within the book, running, walking or being alone among the trees. Equally, the sun and sunlight are also quite prominent in Higherhawk’s poems.

Deciduous’s second part of the book is Grief, and this section depicts the loss of a loved one in extraordinary detail and the heartbreak one carries around.

There are many great poems in this book that touch your heart. The fact that I got a signed copy makes this book extra special to me. I highly recommend this poetry book as a beautiful addition to your collection.
Check out Higherhawk’s Social Media sites below:

https://m.facebook.com/higherhawkpoet/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16620240.Higherhawk

Twitter: @higherhawk

Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRDKFW5

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

 

Hello everyone,

If you’ve read any of my books, I would appreciate a review on Goodreads and Amazon. Click on the link above to see what I’m reading and my reviews.  I have tried for the past few days to add the Goodreads widget to my blog, but I feel so lost in cyberspace, not even youtube tutorials help, so I suppose it’s not meant to be. However, I feel that Goodreads is such a useful social media site for writers and readers to share their works and opinions on books.

I am always honest in my reviews and don’t believe in fake praise.

I have received some invitations to review some poetry books from authors I know, and I am going to be posting some of them up on my blog soon.  If anyone is interested I will consider reviewing some poetry books if you want to email me at christinastrigasauthor@gmail.com

To review novels, you can email me and we can discuss.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

All my best,

Chrissy