Invincible Ink by Don Gutteridge is a beautiful and immersive collection of poems. The poetry feels both carefree in their evocations of memories and careful in their construction. The verse flows in intervals, easily giving up its content without losing any of its beauty. The beauty shows up in alliterations about a sunny day, in descriptions of youth and decay, and in all the carefully packaged memories. There’s a lot of personal sentiments and recollections- it feels like being allowed a peek inside a fully-inhabited life. A life full of love, humor, sadness, charm, decay, details, and fantasy- much like my own life and probably many others. All the best parts are photographed and presented for display. One of my favorites was Beyond Blood and Bone – a poem waging an subdued war on the objectification of lovers, instead proclaiming a beauty that “breeds in the genes, and lets us live beyond the boundaries of blood and bone.” Another treat for me was all the poems written about abiding in the blissful summers of his Grandfather’s home. They had the vivid and enchanting filter that surrounds childhood memories and reminded me of some of the more wondrous times of my childhood. There isn’t any significant or concrete theme binding all the poems, but the presence of a singular, thoughtful source behind them is clear. It was a wonderful way to simply sit for a while and let the poems simmer. I had a lovely time reading the poems and then re-reading my favorites. It was a simple and elegant collection and brought about a sense of peace in me- as much is possible in a year like this one.
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Don Gutteridge, ebook, goodreads, Invincible Ink, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, poem, poet, poetry, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
Mythos Early Ireland recounts the inspiration of mystical Celtic traditions. What kind of research did you undertake to complete this book thought-provoking book?
I have always been interested in history and mythology from a young age but became more interested in the subject when I was working on a research project in my 20s for the Office of Public Works in Ireland. Archaeologists and assistants were employed to research the sites, monuments, and history of the area. I worked as an assistant, working with the team on site with archaeological field work. It also involved spending a lot of time in the local libraries collecting information from old manuscripts and books. From this learning experience, I became interested in mythological stories and started doing research for my draft manuscript.
The manuscript was first written in the early 1990’s and after a lot of editing it was accepted for publication by the Manuscript and Publishing Agency Ltd, UK and published in 2005. During the lockdown this year, I felt I needed to update and self-published my book with Kindle Desktop Publishing (Amazon). I am delighted with the control I have with the book publishing process on KDP and I have discovered a lot about book publishing.
Stories have been told throughout the years on this subject of mythology and early Ireland with publications as early as 11th to 12th century and I found some wonderful books that inspired me (18th and early 19th century), many out of print and were borrowed from the libraries at the time though some are my own personal copies. Books have always been a part of our life growing up as children; my dad often bought boxes of books for us at the local auctions, many which included works by Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde.
Do you plan to publish more books on this subject?
I have not planned any more books about Irish mythology, but this might change. There seems to be a lot of books out there already. I am really inspired by the classics, the old authors alive or dead and I have a full list of inspired works listed in Mythos Early Ireland.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, celtic, culture, ebook, goodreads, irish, kindle, kobo, literature, myth, mythology, Mythos Early Ireland, nook, novel, poem, poetry, read, reader, reading, story, tradition, Virginia O'Malley, writer, writing
One is One or Green Grow the Rushes Oh, by Ruth Finnegan and illustrated by Oliver Cain, is a lovely written version of the age-old song. Each of the beautifully designed pages contains a verse in the style of a cumulative story. As I read the song lyrics, I was immediately reminded of the days when I read The House That Jack Built to my own children. The beauty and simplicity of the song in a story-like format are touching and quite effective as a text.
Finnegan, responsible for the concept of this wonderful book, includes a helpful explanation of the song’s history for any readers not familiar with the meaning of the lyrics. From its earliest origins to the various versions and interpretations of the text, Finnegan covers all aspects of the song thoroughly in a quick read.
I am giving One is One or Green Grow the Rushes Oh, by Ruth Finnegan and illustrated by Oliver Cain, 5 out of 5 stars. Never having heard the song and intrigued by the book’s title, I was more than pleasantly surprised by this thoughtfully crafted rendering of the song and its many versions. I highly recommend Finnegan and Cain’s work to anyone interested in poetry or music history.
Pages: 35 | ASIN: B07GV29ZJY
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, music, nook, novel, One is one, or green grow the rushes oh, poem, poet, poetry, read, reader, reading, ruth finnegan, story, writer, writing
The Joy of I.T. is a sublime collection of sublime poetry that inspires thought and reflection on consciousness and spirituality. This anthology contains forty different poems, along with mantras and affirmations that all serve to enlighten readers and arouse your senses. Interspersed throughout the book are various pieces of strikingly beautiful art. Each one is fit to be framed and hung up as they each evoke so many different emotions.
This is a fantastic collection of literature that can be enjoyed all in one sitting if you wanted to, but I think the true joy of this book comes in the ease with which you can pick it up and read one or two poems for a quick boost of spiritual enlightenment before going about your day.
Lali A. Love uses graceful and simple verse to convey uplifting messages on spiritual truth, purpose, love, and so much more in her poetry. What I enjoyed the most about this book was that it was so much more than a collection of poems. Readers are also treated to essays that explore diverse divine topics and metaphysical subjects. We’re also provided with some truly exceptional art from different artists. These, along with quotes, all serve to provide a cornucopia of literary food for the soul.
I recommend The Joy of I.T.: Infinite Transcendence to readers looking for a collection of inspiring poetry or someone looking to give the gift of light to a loved one this holiday season.
Pages: 174 | ISBN: 1647042127
Tags: anthology, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, lali a love, literature, nook, novel, poem, poet, poetry, read, reader, reading, story, The Joy of I.T.: Infinite Transcendence, writer, writing
Atomic Kiss is a collection of thought-provoking poetry exploring emotion and the human condition. Why was this an important book for you to publish?
After writing “War, What Comes After” I needed to provide another way for people to connect with or be introduced to the warrior from that book. My intent in my series of poetry books is to have them all connect and show the depth of psychology in a person. “Atomic Kiss” is intentionally a very different book but it contains lines and poems that connect with my first book. In particular, ‘You I Envy’ and ‘Atomic Kiss’ are direct constants that play off poems from my last book, with ‘Atomic Kiss’ being the sister poem to ‘My Sarin’. They provide an alternate context in which all the poems can also be interpreted as a psychological and emotional look at the Veteran returning home. But I also wanted the poems to provoke thought on different subjects as well, such as technology and the different types of abuse that people inflict upon each other.
Did you write this collection of poetry for this book or was it written over time?
Some of the poetry was meant for my last book but would have made it too unfocused so I saved those poems and built new poems around them and their themes.
My favorite poem from the collection is ‘AI > Human’. Do you have a favorite poem from this collection?
Besides that poem I like ‘The People that We Meet’ because the narrator felt one way but never allowed that to show. I also like ‘Crius of the Rams’ because there were several poems scattered throughout the book that laid the foundation for that poem, such as ‘Abuses Many’ and ‘The Language of Manipulation’. The poem introduces language commonly used in organizations as tools to exclude individuals or manipulate them. Phrases such as ‘perception is reality’, ‘valuable insight’, and ‘learning points’ are positive phrases but also have a dark twist in that they are often used as cover for discrimination. It starts to become very cult-like. The 2nd half of the poem uses more archaic language that most people wouldn’t know without using google. It even references an obscure mythological figure named Crius. This is because when manipulating, individuals may often attempt to overwhelm others with obscure and grand verbiage or ideas. It paralyzes the victim. This poem prepares the reader for the next book, which will discuss personality profiling and its damaging effects on people.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The relaunch of “War, What Comes After” is complete so the 3rd book in the story arc is code-named “…and Even the Stars were Bothered,” based off the name of one of the poems. I am aiming to release it around Spring of next year.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: Atomic Kiss, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, brendan bigney, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, poem, poet, poetry, read, reader, reading, story, veteran, writer, writing
White Folks Be Trippin’ is a thoughtful collection of poetry that explores people and culture. What were some ideas you felt were important to highlight in your poetry?
Honestly, I wanted to create a space where I could be truthful about the absurdities of maneuvering through the white gaze as a Black person. When folks read this text, I want them to feel like they were immersed in a workshop where we got to cry, and laugh and throw things together. From naming the ways we protect white innocence, to understanding the nuances of how we rob Black/Brown/Indigenous children of theirs, I used poetry, micro-memoir and worksheets to play out all the darting thoughts that come across a mind forced to bear witness to the realities of whiteness in it is truest forms. Incarceration sites to the slave owning history of our Bank lenders, racism is messy and the gaslighting runs deep.
There is deep examination of race and justice in the book. What do you feel is something that doesn’t get discussed a lot when it comes to race?
When it comes to discussing race, especially as authors, we are demanded to write about race from a perspective that is about teaching white people how to be better versions of themselves, rather than pouring into Black, Brown and/or Indigenous folks who suffer under the weight of racism and white supremacy. That in and of itself is racism and white supremacy. The notion that the people that we should invest the most in intellectually are white people robs Black/Brown/Indigenous folks of our right to learn more about the systems we live in, about our own people, about our own capacity for growth. Many racial justice learning spaces operate from this perspective as though the learning of the most targeted peoples is unimportant. I am invested in writing books that center our awareness when it comes to race and justice rather than feel compelled to write for an audience that refuses to up their game and be in it with the experts rather than at the starting place.
Did you write this collection of poetry over time or did you write it specifically for this book?
I started this collection a few months after I moved from NYC to Seattle, WA in early 2016. Moving from a city as large as New York, to a place like Seattle was a culture shock. What was even more interesting, is that as white as Seattle is, people spoke of it as if it was (and is) a huge progressive bubble. Meanwhile, I was experiencing some of the most direct racism I had ever encountered. I needed a place to express what I was observing- that what white folks were telling themselves about who they are, was different than how they showed up. I made a short chapbook version of this book, and thought that would be it. Then the pandemic hit, and then the Black Uprising, and I wanted to make a tool for us. For Black folks. It’s almost normal for Black folks to be expected to absorb all the violence we deal with in these systems and just keep going as if we are superhuman. This Spring reminded me of our need to reflect.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I hope readers of this book understand Black folks, Brown folks & Indigenous folks have a right to our humanity, which includes talking about our experiences in a way that is not meant to coddle white people.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books to read, ebook, goodreads, J Mase III, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, poem, poet, poetry, read, reader, reading, story, White Folks Be Trippin', writer, writing
Atomic Kiss by Brendan S. Bigney is a collection of thought-provoking poetry that uses striking prose to create stimulating literature that speaks on a wide variety of topics relating to emotion and the human experience.
There is a diverse collection of poetry in this book that range from short, some only three lines, to longer ones that fill a page. But all of them have the same impact: some are beguiling, others are refreshing, all of them will certainly leave you thinking.
My favorite poem from the collection is ‘AI > Human’, because of two lines that made me stop reading, put the book down and think about the implications of what I just read. The poem is about how AI will learn how to create art that will be indistinguishable from human art:
“and it will create work that will rival that of any human
because it will have learned imperfection”
This is a good example of the type of compelling poetry that fills these pages. Brendan S. Bigney uses simple language to relay complex ideas and emotions. Atomic Kiss is a highlight in the poetry community.
Pages: 84 | ASIN: B07Y88XX8F
One Heart- Many Breaks is a thought provoking collection of emotional poetry. What inspired you to publish this collection?
I don’t have any plan to be a writer. My personal life has been mentally and financially tough since childhood . I am an introvert,so when I felt depressed I used to write in my diary. After 20 years,that has resulted in a poetry collection.
I have written what my mind and situation compelled me and how I experienced a particular thing in my life. I keep writing and painted my inner soul. I have used some paintings in the book. So you can say readers will know about my life after reading the book.
Did you write the poems for this book or did you write them slowly over time?
My personal circumstances find expression in my writing and tend to seek some solace from the reader. One Heart – Many Breaks is an autobiographical poetry collection that plunges into modern times, regrets, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Most of them are poetic reflections of personal emotions and situation I was laid in. The poems cover 20 years life events and are expression of clear, true and purged feelings and stark reality of my situation.
My favourite poem from the collection is ‘The Reality’. Do you have a favourite poem from this book?
All poems are close to my heart. Each poem has a story and not written in one sitting. It took so many thoughts and days to write a poem for me. It took 20 years to write 50 poems for me. So each one is like a gold mine for me,a history and a life story attached to it.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Any art be it writing or painting depends on your mood and circumstances. When you write about yourself, you tend to feel reluctant and little bit of shy of letting other know your sentiments and ideas. I think only those people write about themselves who are introvert or had been helpless to their situation. So it is difficult to be true to yourself and write about everything as they are. I also painted the characters which symbolic to my life.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I keep writing whenever I have time. It’s my pastime and passion. May be another collection come in near future. I am not a professional writer so can’t say when.