A Quest Called Life is a collection of poems that explore the emotions and moments that shape our lives. What serves as your inspiration while writing poetry?
This was actually my first time writing any form of poetry. I have never attempted to write poetry as I believed that I was not adept at writing it as I was writing maybe, a murder mystery or a detective thriller.
However, with the way the situation has been during lockdown with deaths happening each day and people losing hope to make something out of the opportunities in life, I decided to pen down a collection of poems that would inspire people and help them to look at life from a different perspective during different phases of life.
Hence, the lockdown situation was my inspiration behind penning these poems down.
My favorite poem from the collection is ‘Trust’. Do you have a favorite poem from this anthology?
My favourite poem from this anthology is ‘The First Milestone.’
I have always been a firm believer of ‘A great start is half the battle won.’ Hence, when we do happen to get to that first milestone, we take our first step closer to our eventual goal. That first successful step is enough to charge us up and march on till we get to our eventual goal.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your poetry?
Simply have a different/develop their own perspective of looking at life during its different phases.
I would like my readers to remember that not all days in life are equal. Hence, we must never be too over the moon when we achieve success nor dwell in excessive sorrow when we face failure. The key to happiness is always treating success and failures equally.
Do you plan to publish more collections of poetry?
Another anthology is currently in progress and will soon be out. I will further update my readers when I happen to complete it and I hope that the next one will be loved even more than my debut book.
My Story is a poetic journey of your life. Why was this an important book for you to publish?
I believe that my story expresses how life is a process that gives all of the opportunity to become better individuals and it provides way of self-understanding that enables an individual to reflect and pursue their own purpose in life.
My favorite poem from the collection is Amalgamation. Do you have a favorite piece from the book?
I don’t because I think that each poem is a part of my journey to understanding self and to understanding that which I don’t understand. Each poem is a reflection of “my knowing”…
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I would like to think that in some ways it clarifies an individual’s experiences and somehow gives others the opportunities to reflect on life’s possibilities if we continue to strive towards a more spiritual humanity…
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I “hope” to write another work that develops ideas about contemporary spirituality and womanhood.
Stranded Wherever I Am by Steve Boint is a collection of poetry that gives an interesting outlook at the transient residents of a motel. The author gently expresses the harsh realities of the different personalities that usually end up living in these places. The battered woman, the addict, lovers, lawmen and simple travelers. He subtly brushes on the untold stories of the corridors, the parking lot, the closed windows, unopened doors and the cycles of time. The titles of the poems hint at the struggles of the phases those he observes go through. They include ‘Why Motels?’, ‘Night Manager Sleeps’, ‘Interesting Job’, ‘Too Far From Home’, ‘Late Night Musings’ and ‘No Sign Out Front’. Sometimes the poems border on haunting, pulling one into the undefined and seemingly aimless orbit of what motel life is like. Somehow, the author does not let it get too deep into that kind of low energy. It does continue on a similar spectrum but has a strong undercurrent of knowing, acceptance and strength. Somehow, contradicting ideas can exist together like the crushing loneliness and unquestionable acceptance and lack of judgement among similar people. There is a suggestion of danger but also a suggestion people choose these motels at times when they are getting away from something.
There is nothing overly flowery about the author’s words. His lines do not necessarily stick to convention but it is nevertheless an engaging read. He craftily uses the usual literary devices to get his point across. I highly recommend this collection of poetry.
Pages: 117 | ASIN: B085VSWXK9
Labyrinth by Fernando Rover, Jr., both a statement of intention and a gentle cautioning to his more emotional readers. This collection of poetry, as mentioned by the author in the author’s note attached to the end of the collection, is meant to create a safe place where Black men can, “confront the perpetual pain that has kept [them] bound.” What the collection has achieved, though, is so much more.
Through a hodgepodge of rhyming and non-rhyming poetry, ones with clear rhythms and ones where the rhythms are harder to identify, Rover draws attention to the Black man’s struggles in America, both internal and external. Some of these are more commonly known if one just opens one’s eyes, others…not so much. He discusses those issues that few people are willing to open up about, let alone Black men: identity, vulnerability (including depression), heritage, lack of real change in society, and resilience. While he sometimes uses one or two words that are above the average reading level, Rover generally expresses his thoughts in simple yet powerful language that hits the reader right in the heart, no matter their race or gender. Do not be fooled into thinking that simple language means that you should read the entire collection in one sitting, though. It is possible, but I would not recommend it. Rover’s work is so emotionally impactful that you will be too drained halfway through the work if you choose to take this route, so you will be better off pacing yourself and taking it in chunks.
While the collection was intended for creating a safe space for Black men confronting their own pain, I think that Rover’s work has gone above and beyond that by showing readers outside that demographic the ways in which Black men suffer in silence and yet continue to carry on. My favorite poem in the collection, one that bridges the racial and gender gaps among readers due to the painful truths it presents, is “Token (An Ode to Blackness)”. Not only do the rhythm and random rhymes work together in a unique, almost angry-sounding, harmony, but the poem strikes at the heart of multiple truths: for Black men, that their identities are not up to the white world—to anyone else—to decide, and for everyone else, mostly white people, that we do this and need to stop. It is not a “comfortable” poem, but that’s the point—pain is the elephant in the room, and Rover is addressing it.
Of course, what Rover has to say and his mastery of the language aren’t all that there is to praise about this collection. Like all great poets, Rover knows how to use blank space to his advantage, and it shows with how he manipulates the shape of his poems on the page. Although reading the first couple poems with two columns can be a little confusing, the first two-column poem in which the verses are numbered clears up this confusion immediately. Once you know how to read the work, Rover’s use of blank space, particularly in poems such as “Dialogue” and “Braille”, ingeniously reflect the subject matter, theme(s), or both of the poem.
Additionally, Rover weaves photographs of Iona—a Scottish island and one of the sources of inspiration for the labyrinth and pilgrimage themes tying this collection together—in with his poetry. These images provide a nice visual break from the black-and-white space of the text and highlight the themes of the collection overall. The sepia tone through which the pictures have been filtered also enhances the overall mood of the collection. While the poems stand perfectly well on their own, the photographs are a great addition also.
The one critique I have for this collection is that there are, closer to the beginning of the collection, a few minor spelling errors that cannot be attributed to purposeful stylistic choices. They are very minor errors, such as “then” instead of “than,” and most readers probably will not notice them unless they are looking for them. Some quick proofreading would fix these non-purposeful spelling errors.
Labyrinth by Fernando Rover, Jr., is an emotional pilgrimage with the potential to bring you to tears. If you’re looking for traditional poems with traditional rhyming and rhythm schemes that steer clear of controversial or sensitive subjects, this is not the collection for you. However, if you’re a Black man looking for work that you feel really connects with your most hidden internal struggles or you are someone outside this demographic looking to connect with and understand the struggles of another, then Rover is your poet. If you are looking for some modern poetry that hits its readers hard in the heart, this work is also for you. Just don’t expect to be immune to the pain just because it isn’t pain you’ve experienced personally.
Pages: 53 | ISBN: 1074628985
Key to my Heart is a collection of love poems that I thought were thought-provoking and stirring. What serves as your inspiration when writing poetry?
I am inspired by places, events, people, and my poetry reflects the things I love or in my vision at that time. This collection was written as individual pieces and my most recent poetry. I will be revising this and making the book into a bigger collection with additional artwork.
I have an interest and inspired by world mythology, history, astrology, archaeology, photography, art, poetry, and music. I come up with a variation on my poetry from these influences. I have written over 200 poems and some are still unpublished because they do not fit into any category to put into a collection. I am working on publishing more books in the future.
What are some themes you find yourself often moving towards when writing?
I have a strong link towards mythology and the wonderful world of faery. I find the stories fascinating and feel inspired to write poetry after reading up on the subject. I have done a lot of research in the past on Irish mythology which is a subject close to my heart. I have been inspired to write a complete book on this subject with my favourite tales and original poetry to accompany the stories. I also like to create writing with a moral to the story which inspired by children’s book, “Princess Sweetness & Light”
My favorite poem from the collection was An Element Of The Horoscope. Do you have a favorite poem from this collection?
The Ghosts of Wuthering Heights is my favourite poem, based on the book by Emily Bronte published in 1847. The first time I read this book was on our school syllabus and I loved the story so much it has stayed with me all through the years.
Do you plan on publishing more books of poetry?
I am working on a new book of poetry, but this will not be ready until next year.
I spent all the lockdown writing and rearranging some works I had previously written and I have already independently published the following books which are available on Amazon worldwide:
Mythos Early Ireland (formally A Celtic Moment in Time) – based on my favourite Irish mythological stories with original art.
Princess Sweetness and Light – Illustrated children’s book with the moral of the story, “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”
The Faery Tree – Earth Queen of Faery – Illustrated children’s-young adult story with adventures to faery.
Eire West – Poetry based on the West of Ireland – Mayo and Galway (original homeland)
Lockdown 2020 – Short read collection containing thinking time poetry/verse with my own photography.
By Gloria D. Gonsalves
Little Angels is a collection of poems that reflect deeper imaginations and emotions that surround us as human beings. What are some muses that inspire you to write?
The muses that inspire me to write are two ancestors of mine the famous French novelist George Sand and my 4th great grandfather Edme Germain Villetard de Vincelles. These two people made their mark in life living with passion and having compassion for all people. Other muses that fire my soul are my spirit guides, chivalry, energy and the pursuit of truth.
Where do you write most of your poetry?
I write most of my poetry at work when I have a quiet moment to focus on my inner self and while listening to my spirit guides.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your collection?
I hope readers can attain a more profound sense of their connection to the earth and the universe by having read the poetic verses in this binding of thoughts.
The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
Gold Award Winners
A Little Bit Extraordinary by Esther Robinson
A Saint and a Sinner by Stephen H. Donnelly and Diane O’Bryan
Silver Award Winners
Mountain Heat by Natrelle Long
Pandora’s Gardener by David C Mason
Posted in Literary Titan Book Award
Tags: action, adventure, author, author award, author recognition, biography, book, book award, book review, bookblogger, business, childrens book, crime, dark fantasy, drama, ebook, entprepreneur, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical, horror, kids book, kindle, kobo, literary titan, literature, memoir, mystery, nonfiction, nook, novel, picture book, poem, poetry, read, reader, reading, romance, science fiction, scifi, space adventure, story, suspense, teen, thriller, writer, writing, young adult