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Last Call

Randall McNair’s poetry is something every avid reader should experience. Randall McNair is not only excellent with his narration but also great with the choice of words. He is able to get the reader to imagine and virtually feel his experiences. Last Call is a short poetry book where the author talks about his experiences as an alcoholic, his encounters with women, the funny side of life and miserable side as well. I enjoyed reading this poetry book because McNair’s words are easy to understand. He uses simple every-day words and rhymes every once in a while. Moving from one poem to another gives the impression of moving from one experience to another.

Last Call is divided into six parts; ‘At The Bar’, ‘At Home’, ‘At Death’s Door’, ‘In My Wildest Imagination’, ‘In Love’, and ‘At the Crossroads of Self-Loathing and Hope’. Each section contains a list of poems whose main subject is the title of the category. The first part of the book was interesting. Poems in ‘In the Bar’ is wild, hilarious, and even serious. The author talks of activities that occur in the bar, his experiences and how crazy some interactions can get. The author is not always modest and sometimes uses strong language to get the message across. McNair does not hold back and expresses his raw feelings in a gritty yet intriguing way.

There are many poems in the book that the reader will love. The first poem is fantastic. In the poem titled ‘The beer at the Swinging door Saloon’ was among my favorites. Each poem that followed was as interesting to read or even better. Through poetry, Randall McNair is able to address a variety of societal issues. He also talks of personal struggles that many readers will be able to relate to. Each poem was utterly fascinating to me. I always looked forward to flipping this book open and reading the next poem throughout my day.

The little details in Last Call are what I found really endearing and ensure the poems were grounded. The author uses different literary elements to maintain the reader’s interest. Last Call is your ideal book if you enjoy short reads. Each poem has a story to tell and a hidden lesson. One thing you are assured of at the end of the reading is that you will be entertained by the stories and enlightened by the lessons.

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My Soul Calls For Me To Write Poetry

Shavonda Robinson
Shavonda Robinson Author Interview

Thy Paintbrush to Abstracting Images is a collection of imaginative poetry that provides compelling commentary on life. Why was this an important collection for you to publish?

I feel this collection of poetry

Is an blueprint based on commentary life.

What inspires you to write poetry?

My soul calls for me to write poetry

I feel my heart has something important

To say when i get that urge to express

Myself.

My favorite poem from the collection is ‘Dedication’. Do you have a favorite poem from this collection?

I feel each poem resonates with me

In favorable ways for many different reasons.

Do you have plans to publish more works of poetry?

Yes, I am actually working on

My 52nd book right now

I just so in love with poetry

It will always be apart of me.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

A collection of poems that will take readers on a constant, visual journey by creating a world between an abundant imagination and reality-based situations. This poet has a way of waving her magic wand and putting up a persuasive point of view. This poet also has super pen powers on the page with a creativity level that cannot be tamed, and she will dazzle you with her captivating gift when it comes to connecting with others by using images and musicality to tell different poetic stories throughout the entire book.

Pearl of the Wind: The Poet-of-the-Aire Sings

Pearl of the Wind: The Poet-of-the-Aire Sings by [Ruth Finnegan]

Pearl of the wind by Ruth Finnegan is an emotive story told in poetic verse from the perspective of the air. This story retells Ruth Finnegan’s other fairytale story, Black Inked Pearl, but with added depth as we get to hear the story from from a different soulful voice. As this book takes the reader through magnificent poems along with idyllic landscapes and characters inspired by Greek Mythology, it feels like a trip through poetry’s history adorned with the passion of a young blossoming love.

Furthermore, the connection and inspiration from Homer is quite evident, giving the whole composition an elegant literary feel throughout. Another interesting detail is the dreamlike reality of the story, which will interest even the youngest reader. As a reader keen for details, I appreciated the quality of the descriptions, the depth and heart of the poems and the intriguing story itself. This latter represents a great modernisation of Greek myths and gives the plot an interesting twist, building tension until the last chapter.

Pearl of the Wind is a collection of poems that will win the reader’s heart with its love story and its thought-provoking references to classical and modern poetry. Therefore, I would recommend it to fans of Black Inked Pearls, by the same author, and to any reader interested in poetry and oneiric voyages. And as Finnegan evokes the ancient Muse, “Sing to me Great Poet of the Winds of the wrath of deepen breathing-thinking hero here”. Beautifully fantastic.

Pages: 45 | ASIN: B08B6BQR2L

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Beauty in the Darkness

Jennifer LeBlancKirsten McNeill
Jennifer LeBlanc and Kirsten McNeill Author Interview

Blooming in the Dark is a collection of emotionally charged and expressive poetry that explores love, friendship, identity and healing. What inspires you to write poetry?

Jennifer: Inspiration comes to me from a little bit of everything: music, movies, other books, conversations with friends and family, personal experiences, past traumas, as well as other forms of art. I like writing things that can connect with people on a deep level and draw out emotions from readers to create a meaningful experience for them.

Kirsten: The expression of ideas and the goal to connect with the reader in a powerful way. With poetry, you have to be so careful with your word choices to make the most impact. It’s not like a novel where you have paragraphs and paragraphs to get the point across. Poetry requires instant impact and that’s an interesting challenge for a creative mind.

What was the writing collaboration process like with author Kirsten McNeill?

Jennifer: Working with Kirsten was such a great experience and I don’t think this project could have come out any better than it did because her and I think so much alike in terms of the theme for this book. She’s very easy to work with and it made getting to the finish line that much more exciting. When I ran out of things to write she was there to help me get some inspiration back or to help keep the flow going. We were essentially each other’s accountability partners as well as sounding boards and I think that was one thing that contributed to how well this poetry collection came together.

What was the writing collaboration process like with author Jennifer LeBlanc?

Kirsten: Reading the completed product of our book, sometimes I couldn’t remember which poem was written by me and which was Jennifer. We have a similar style and we were very clear on the goals and themes we wanted to include in the book. It was fun to collaborate and share ideas on what did or didn’t work in a poem. We’re both talented writers and being able to combine our skills and experience helped us create something incredible for readers. It helps working with someone who can align so well with your thoughts and writing style!

What themes do you find your poetry often drifts towards?

Jennifer: A lot of things I write tend to stem from past or personal experiences with love, family or trauma, but occasionally I get inspired by instances I simply observe and am completely outside of. I like exploring deep emotion and trying to bring that out in others. More often than not I write what I feel, but there are instances that I don’t and I try to explore new ways to put certain thoughts into poetry. It’s almost like telling a story and whether it relates to me or not I always lean towards thinking there might be someone out there who could relate to it and connect with it no matter what it is.

Kirsten: I love exploring the darkness in people. The struggles they go through that aren’t always on display for the world. It tends to be a “taboo” to talk about your dark thoughts or the negativity. We’re meant to put on a pretty smile and go about our day. Exploring the darkness helps me find a way to see the good, to connect with others who may be going through the same thing. To let readers know that whatever they are feeling is valid whether in love, friendship, or life in general. It’s all about the balance of light and dark.

Did you write these poems slowly over time or did you write them specifically for this collection?

Jennifer: Some of the poems I contributed to this project were extra ones that didn’t make it into my previous poetry collection Paper Heart. The rest were all written just for this book. The theme really inspired us to dive deep into what being human means. Both the good and the bad and how no matter what darkness you face, you can always find a way to rise within it and become stronger from your darkest days.

Kirsten: All the poems were specifically meant for this collection. We had the title Blooming in the Dark as our inspiration to show the journey of our struggles and how we can find our way to the light. There were a handful of poems that didn’t make it in because they didn’t quite fit, but we may use those for other poetry collections.

Jennifer LeBlanc Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Website

Kirsten McNeill Author Links: Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook | Website

In this collection of poetry, co-writers Jennifer LeBlanc and Kirsten McNeill explore what it means to thrive in the absence of light. There is beauty in the darkness. Open your heart and let in the night.

CHOOSING LIFE – A Poem for Suicide Prevention

Beloved one at the rim to the other side.

Today, I bring you my companionship with words,

for I will never claim to know your journey to this point.

 

Before we converse, I ask you to put away the rope,

the rope you are holding so tight as a bridge away from this world.

 

It is dark, and we are going to need some light to be seen.

I am lighting a wood fire to invoke all our guardians to join us.

Let us praise and thank them for protecting and guiding us to here.

 

Before we speak, lend me your arms so I can pray for our life.

Allow me to unburden what is weighing you to this moment.

Speak it or not, but I shall remain here holding hands ’til dawn.

 

The night is vast, and we will not be rushed to light.

What matters is we stay here together, facing this darkness.

I will not let us die emotionally in helplessness.

I have brought my heart and mind to drink them, and I hope

you will allow me to refill yours with spoons of hope and love.

 

The bridge before us is unknown, and I would have flown if I knew.

But we are still here, together, gazing at this fire, and I pray

it will not die before we have untied the knot in your heart

and the thoughts fencing you away from hope and worthiness.

 

Lend me your heart and mind so I can give mine.

I don’t know what tomorrow has in store for us

but on this night, I vow to keep you safe in my arms.

 

This night is ours only; we will own and claim it like the moon.

I hope you will take it and decide to keep, and it is all right

to visit in phases—sometimes full and sometimes waning.

Thank you for taking this night and allowing me to be in it.

 

The fire is still burning and the night blushing with hope.

The embers of life ignited; I see you choosing to stay.

Weary, battered, and bruised, you have chosen to stay.

Tomorrow can come, and I see you walking back to life.

 

Thy Paintbrush to Abstracting Images

Thy Paintbrush to Abstracting Images by [Shavonda Robinson]

When you read Shavonda Robinson’s poetry you feel the warmth in her words, the intentions she has, and her sentiments about various things. Reading this book was therapeutic because the author wrote from her heart. Every word, line, or stanza in Thy Paintbrush to Abstracting Images elicits some form of reaction from the reader. It is amazing how just one poem can make one reflect on their life and everything surrounding them. A single poem or even a single stanza from Shavonda Robinson can make you change your perspective on different things. This includes nature, relations with people, family, and norms in society. Once you complete the book, you will get to understand why human beings are different and what makes life so beautiful and precious.

One of the most notable elements in Shavonda Robinson’s poetry is that they are easy to comprehend. Shavonda Robinson uses modest words and simple phrases that do not need a lot of time to decipher. As a lover of poetry, you will appreciate the mind of the poet. When talking about nature, for example, Shavonda Robinson will use examples of things that we see every day, could be mountains, small insects, trees, the ground we walk on, or whatever else. She is able to link various objects to human interactions and that is one of the most beautiful things about her poetry.

Every poem is different and special. I loved reading each of them but had a few favorites. I liked that the first poem in the book was a dedication to all the people and things that mattered in the author’s life. One can tell that Shavonda Robinson has a strong connection with her creator and her family. The poem titled ‘Dedication’ is also there to remind us to be grateful for what we have. Life is beautiful and so we are reminded to be thankful for everything we have; it could be family, your career, your country, or talents. Other poems that stood out to me include ’Captivating Tastes’, ‘Fixed Thoughts’. ‘Lyrical Galaxy’. Dream of Wisdom’, ‘Laughter Teardrop’, ‘Poetic Divas’ and ‘The Walls of Poetry’.

Thy Paintbrush to Abstracting Images is a collection of imaginative poetry that is delightfully engaging. Shavonda Robinson provides readers with a compelling collection of thought-provoking and emotionally-charged poetry.

Pages: 132 | ASIN: B06XK44V43

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Make it a Double: More poems from my 10-year bender inside heaven’s dive bar

Make it a Double: More poems from my 10-year bender inside heaven's dive bar (Bar Poems) by [Randall McNair, Graye Smith, Jessica Berbey]

Make it a Double contains gritty but stirring poetry that is as observant as it is emotive. By sharing events and encounters in the authors life, Randall McNair gives the reader an insight into what goes on in an alcoholic’s mind. His thoughts are intriguing, scary, fascinating, but mostly wild. This poetry book reads like no other. As a poet, Randall McNair knows how to keep his audience engaged. The tales he shares are intriguing and get one to not only reflect on their lives but also question some of the things that have been considered a norm. I enjoyed reading this book mostly because I felt like I was walking in a stranger’s shoes, a stranger whom I would want to befriend because of how he views life. Reading Make it a Double was a delight. This book introduced me to an interesting sub category of poems; bar poems.

Make It a Double is divided into five parts; ‘The Status Quo’, ‘The Descent’, ‘Death in the Middle’, ‘The Rising’, and ‘Return with the Elixir’. Each of the sections explores different stages in the poet’s life, what he was going through, his missteps, wins, and lessons learned. I appreciate Randall McNair for how he classified the different parts of the book. You are able to enjoy the poems as you follow his story. One thing that stands out in McNair’s writing is how he simplifies everything for his audience. Poems do not need to be complex or complicated to be enjoyed. The author uses simple text with comprehensible wording.

Make It a Double sometimes reads like a memoir. The tales in the book are enlightening, and funny. I appreciate Randall McNair’s sense of humor as his funny texts made the reading experience very enjoyable. The author talks about different encounters; some happy, sad, pitiful, funny, or even crazy to imagine. Randall McNair knows how to kill boredom and balance moods in his poem. There is no single poem in the book that was boring thanks to the author’s engaging approach.

Bar stories never sounded so good. By reading Make it a Double, you get to understand what happens in bars even if you are a teetotaler. You will think of that lone drinker, the party animal, the social drinker or the quiet drinker at home. This book will crack you up and also expose you to a different world where strangers get to share what they struggle with everyday.

Pages: 113 | ASIN: B08W4W6LGR

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Blooming in the Dark (Poetry Collections Book 2)

Blooming in the Dark (Poetry Collections Book 2) by [Jennifer LeBlanc, Kirsten McNeill]

Blooming in the Dark is a beautiful poetry book by Jennifer LeBlanc and Kristen McNeill. The poems contained within it are relatable and tug at the heartstrings. At their core, they are representations of different aspects of the human condition. They address issues such as love, friendship, identity, and healing.

They particularly delve into the intricacies of love – the intensity of it, the toxicity that can be created when this emotion is manipulated and the damage it can do when provoked. It tells of the depression of those left by loved ones, the loss of identity by those that were manipulated by lovers, and the healing required to reach a semblance of peace.

Interestingly, this book also thoroughly explores the love between friends and how a toxic friendship can leave someone withered and low. However, not everything is sad and depressing in this book. Some poems talk about overcoming imposter syndrome and the need to be perfect.

They talk of embracing the present and moving into new chapters of our lives without regret or remorse, of fighting our demons and winning, and of forgiving and letting go. In many ways, this book celebrates healing and the realization of the authentic self. It makes you remember your pain, your joy, and how they interweave – it feels like a love letter to your soul. It makes you feel seen, all of you – the intense and the laid back. Clearly, the authors poured their heart and soul into this project, ensuring that it was an accurate description of what it means to be alive.

They do a good job of weaving emotion into the poems without making the language feel heavy – it almost feels like you are reading the words of someone who has lived what you have lived. It also helps that while the authors do some symbolism, it is clear what they are talking about. They manage to create a beautiful balance between veiling and message execution, making this book easy to read, even for poetry beginners.

Once you start reading it you can barely put it down – it could take just a couple of hours to finish. As long as you like deep emotional poetry, Blooming in the Dark will be a breathtaking read for you.

Pages: 181 | ASIN: B08W4P1Q2C

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