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The White Colossus

The White Colossus by Enne Baker is an alluring and visionary collection of poems that touch upon subjects like life, death, cosmic energy and nature, and much more. The author provides twenty poems in this collection where he talks about both the beauty of life and peace within death. This fascinating book will take you on a thought-provoking journey, starting with Baker’s thoughts towards death, his belief in love and God, and his acceptance of life.

Author Enne Baker is a powerful writer, and his poems exude emotion. While I was reading the poems, I felt uncomfortable, intrigued, and left in my thoughts. Baker expresses his thoughts and feelings so well that each poem resonated with me, and I wanted to read more. I enjoyed the diversity of the poems because I didn’t know what to expect, which was a nice treat.

Baker’s comparisons of life to objects are made so seamlessly that when you stop to think about what you’ve just read, you realize that the author just compared the mending of a body to that of a car being built. Some poems I found were hard to understand and required me to really think about what the author was saying in the piece. However, these poems did not stop me from continuing to read the collection but rather slow down and ponder my own feelings and thoughts.

Enne Baker’s words paint a vivid picture in the reader’s mind and captivate your thoughts and emotions, making this one book that you will read more than once. The White Colossus is a brilliant collection of poetry that will leave readers better than when they picked up the book.

Pages: 63 | ASIN : B09JBZKWYS

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The Humbling and Other Poems

The Humbling and Other Poems by Robert J. Tiess is expansive, intricate, and a well-developed poetry collection. While this collection has been arranged in seven parts, its poems can be read in any order and cover many things in life’s journey. There is a kindness and gentleness to Tiess’ work that resonates on a human level, and in turn, gives itself beautifully to the reader. The “Addenda” towards the end of the collection is its own little marvel, and truthfully, if there’s anything I could do differently regarding my initial reading of this collection, it’s that I would read the closing section first.

One poem I especially enjoyed was “Amid the Jersey Turnpike Whales.” As someone who has driven on that cursed road myself, I still remember my first time on the turnpike and Tiess’ poeticizing of it to an ocean is, for me, enormously memorable. Visceral, the scene depicted quickly burrows itself inside your skin. You can taste the exhaust, the gravel, even the cold itself. And then, there’s the rain—Tiess’s chosen equalizer in dreaming the turnpike to an ocean. All of this, contrasted with the peace, warmth, and light of returning home to dryness and comfort, makes this poem a summoning of rest specific to home. And that’s the thing about this collection—while you might not be able to connect with every single poem in it, there’s still something in this book for everyone.

Further, I enjoyed seeing Tiess branching out in his use of form and space (ex: “Deepmost”). I reveled in the opportunity to see him break free from form and let live. Nevertheless, there are times when this sudden liberation causes the opposite to occur. In “Elsewhere in the Coffee House…,” it feels as if Tiess is almost trying to overcompensate for the poem’s unwinding nature by tensing and coiling it back into itself. Tiess is bold with his poems and his language hits a delightful, vital literary octave that only a true poet can touch in their writing.

The Humbling and Other Poems is a well-constructed, and thoughtful creation which not only brings people joy, but also serves to make the world a better place simply by existing.

Pages: 233 | ASIN: B09YMPN6VW

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Bag O’ Goodies

Bag O’ Goodies by Jolly Walker Bittick is a compilation of unique short stories and poems. With a collection of varying themes, some of which are based on true events, the reader is sure to be entertained.

Author Jolly Walker Bittick captivates and holds the reader’s interest with short stories that are filled with scares, paranoia, drama, and much more taking the reader on a wild ride. The author touches upon themes such as alcoholism, friendship, romance, and relationships; the onset of each tale takes a path to conquer the protagonist’s dilemma. The author successfully incorporates witty dialogues and gradual story pacing along with likable characters. Bag O’ Goodies as the name itself suggests share tales that are exceptional on their own, yet contrast in how they delight the reader. With characters that are relatable, this book indulges the reader in mesmerizing tales and does so ever so swiftly that you may contemplate the underlying meaning behind each one!

Bag O’ Goodies by Jolly Walker Bittick serves as a sweet anecdote for readers who seek short stories – ones that are brimming with sweetness like icing on a cake, a mix of tangy and sweet narratives to captivate your attention. I would recommend this book to readers who like stories that encapsulate their mind’s imaginations and often relate to the protagonist’s dilemma. It is the optimum choice as an insightful yet thought-provoking evening read. Holistically, the book is evocative in translating powerful messages in today’s world.

Pages: 165 | ASIN : B09YN1F4F9

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Battle Cry 

Battle Cry by author Jennifer Sara Widelitz is a peculiar and emotionally riveting short book of modern poetry. This thought-provoking book is divided into five parts: Before, Crash, Interlude: Nature’s Elixir, Relapse, and Resilience. The author’s writing is thoughtfully illustrated by herself, with fine-line artwork. The pieces revolve around several stages of life and aspects of human nature such as childhood, family, trauma, illness, and healing.

The author’s ability to engage the reader and invoke her own inspirations for the poems is a definite highlight of this piece of literature. Widelitz’s opening poem is certainly remarkable due to its capacity to transmit a feeling of belonging that is likely to captivate the reader in the very first verses. The following pieces, short poems which likewise capture the essence of their subjects, are specifically dedicated to some of the author’s family members and add to the collection’s authenticity.

The poem “RORSCHACH TEST: INKBLOT # 3, BEFORE AND AFTER” is worthy of an honorable mention. Named after the well-known psychological inkblot test in which the subject is asked by the examiner to describe what they visualize in the paper. This piece, which is accompanied by a gloomy illustration that can represent different objects when rotated, conjures verses that can be read from top to bottom and vice-versa. Imaginative and creative, Jennifer Sara Widelitz separates herself from the large majority of poetry anthologies with her ingenuity. Her artwork is simple but powerful as not each poem has art to go with it. However, when there is an image, even in black and white, it is striking and conjures up emotions, making the artwork as important as the words in the poem.

Battle Cry is an emotionally charged collection of poetry and drawings. However, the author displays a sensitive and empathetic side to dealing with chronic illness and the battles that those that endure must face. For those that love poetry or those that need inspiration, this collection is a must.

Pages: 156 | ASIN : B09Z7CSJ72

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Awaken! 

Awaken! A Collection of Poems is a chapbook written by Sylvia Sánchez Garza. This emotionally-charged collection is filled with poems covering topics like nature, the pandemic, immigration, social injustice, love and family, and deeply personal feelings that readers from all over will be able to relate to. This short collection has twenty-five poems and a glossary for those who do not understand the Spanish words included in the poetry. Each poem will leave the reader with something to think about.

Nature is one of the main themes in this collection, and many of the author’s poems use nature to express her thoughts on the world and what is happening. Two poems that I felt connected humans and nature well are Dance and Delusional Dream. Dance is a profound poem, taking a look at life from a flying bug. While the exact insect is not named, the perspective is eye-opening. Humans forget when they view these dancing bugs as an annoyance to their outdoor experience, these bugs have a short life span, and the outdoors is their only home. Fly swatters, and bug zappers take these creatures’ joy and short life away. With such a short time to live, they should dance and love just as we like to. Moving right from the fragile life of bugs, readers are given a poem on the fragility of human life. This heartbreaking poem talks about the pandemic and how much was lost during this time, human lives, dreams, experiences, and just living their lives.

Some of the other thought-provoking topics that Garza explores include immigration, migrant workers, fear, and the politics surrounding these issues. The poem Soar With The Angles made me cry. The words are chosen so artfully that each strike at different emotions. This poem says what so many have felt, and their voices went unheard when the events surrounding George Floyd occurred.

Not all the poems are dark or sad. Mr. Sunshine turns a gray morning rain into a thing of beauty and something to be welcomed and appreciated for its gift. It reminds readers that we must experience rain at times to grow and experience the beauty that the world has to offer us.

Awaken! A Collection of Poems is a beautifully written chapbook that is filled with introspective and passionate works that readers will not forget. Those who enjoy reading current and relevant poetry on contemporary society will find this expressive collection moving and filled with passion.

Pages: 44 | ASIN : B09N6QLQBG

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Peace in the Midst of the Storm

Author Kaleb Thompson’s Peace in the Midst of the Storm is a poetry collection that aims to inspire others, offering sanctuary to readers going through life’s crises. This collection is based on religious beliefs and seeks to glorify God and exalt the human spirit. The writer captures the universal experiences of despair, stress, and not knowing where to turn while offering religious-based solutions to navigating these dark times in life.

These poems contain powerful and evocative images; the opening poem describes a peaceful place “my life will soon leap into.” I feel, at times, these poems would benefit from being simplified. Some lines are so long that the rhyme scheme is partially lost or muddled. Nonetheless, there is a promise of healing within these poems through moments of original phrasing and Thompson’s positive, supportive messaging. One message that stood out to me is that we are not who we were in the past, our future can be different, and we have the power to change our lives.

The poem “Blame” really struck me. The lines “A mature young man in the midst of grown adults who don’t know how / and when to grow up is not only surprising, it’s disturbing.” I see this attitude almost every day, at work, in stores, and even at children’s sports games. How can children learn to live in a Godly way when the example set before them is the exact behavior they are told to correct?

This collection is for those passionate about their religious beliefs and who have a strong faith background. The poetry is religious; there are explicit calls to prayer, alongside a sense of owing life’s successes to God. Through God, readers will find a path to overcoming anxiety, fear, a broken and troubled spirit, and an uplifting message of hope. The uplifting energy of this collection and Thompson’s attempt to reach out to the downtrodden are admirable.

Peace in the Midst of the Storm is a collection of poetry that will help guide readers into the light from the darkness that has built up inside them. This inspirational anthology will give readers hope and encouragement to find the best inside of themselves with the help of God.

Pages: 88 | ASIN : B09PSTJPH8

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A Life’s Tapestry

A Life’s Tapestry by Patricia Stanway is a collection of poetry pertaining to the lifelong pursuits and themes of sensuality, love, family, music, searching, loss and pain, discovery, and so much more.

This poetry collection was crafted in such a way that only someone who has lived life to the fullest can capture in words the deep emotions that are experienced and portray them in a manner that readers will connect with. A Life’s Tapestry was structured in a way to illustrate the different seasons of life. The seasons of sorrow and joy are interwoven together to tell a beautiful, fascinating, and complete story. In these poems, Stanway paints vivid imagery and writes poignant thoughts, detailing moments lived and imagined in order to fully captivate the reader, drawing them into the moment. 

The selection of poems that the author has chosen to include in this collection is exquisite in artistry and refreshing to read. When reading through the poetry, the themes that are revealed show Stanway has experienced much in her life. Her works of poetry act as a reflection upon those defining moments. Even people who are new to reading poetry will be interested in reading through Stanway’s collection by stepping into her shoes and experiencing life through the eyes. Readers will be delighted by Stanway’s insight into her life and the colorful wording of her pieces. Simply put, this collection of poetry is a work of art, highlighting moments of pure joy and sorrow, causing the reader to smile, cry, and laugh as they read through each entry. 

A Life’s Tapestry is a raw emotional collection of poetry that highlights the vulnerability and genius of the poet. The writing is thought-provoking and addresses many situations that all human beings experience in the journey of life. 

Pages: 134 | ASIN : B09B3CJG9L

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Northwoods Pulp Reloaded

Northwoods Pulp Reloaded by T.K. O’Neill is a collection of fantastic short stories, each one filled with suspense and intrigue. Hole in the World, Snowmobile Stick-up, The Devil You Say, and My Ship Comes In make up this ensemble. Don Enrico is owed a large sum of money by Ginny and Stuart, but when Stuart gets arrested, their plans go awry. The Whiteout Gang robs a bank and escapes on snowmobiles. Elton Kirby investigates satanic rituals and puts his own life in danger. Keith is on the run and finds himself burdened with a boatload of cocaine, beginning a long and complicated journey.

Author T.K. O’Neill certainly has a captivating writing style, creating a feeling of suspense and excitement. Northwoods Pulp Reloaded is an extraordinary collection of short stories that are filled with twists, turns, and surprises that will keep readers guessing. Thanks to O’Neill’s strong character-building technique, the wide assortment of characters are all well-defined and easy to relate to. Readers will get to know gang members, law enforcement officers, criminals, and ordinary people that make you feel like you have known them for years. In addition, each scene is described in detail, making it easy for the reader to form a mental picture, such as the reuniting of long-lost family members and criminal activities.

O’Neill’s uses of different settings add depth to these short stories, giving each one a unique feel and the opportunity to take readers on a new journey. The stories are set in different towns and cities across the United States with an array of exciting locations – a cabin in the woods, boats on the water, houses and buildings. Crime, murder, and mystery are the constant themes throughout the book.

My personal favorite aspect of the book is definitely the author’s fast-paced and succinct writing and the way the locations are described. In addition, the dialogue is splendidly written and carries each story forward from beginning to end.

Northwoods Pulp Reloaded is a riveting short story collection, superbly written to keep readers engaged. A suspenseful and thrilling read where the bad guys are the focus, and the action keeps coming. Due to profanities and erotic scenes, this book is best for mature readers.

Pages: 293 | ASIN : B09GP1ZT1P

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