“Poetry is something I love deeply, mainly because those from whom I have learned the most, personally and professionally, have been poets. I’ve never encountered a lesson that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of a poem or three”. – Ronnie K. Stephens
We are so excited to bring you the teaser for our debut podcast, TPQ20, where Courtney and Chris Margolin talk to writers about passions, process, pitfalls, and Poetry! Make sure to share, subscribe, rate, and review!
“When you’re an 8th grader with a blog where you write sad heartbreak lyrics, a lot of forehead acne, and long, swoopy bangs in hopes it covers it up, something’s gotta give. I had to own up to something, and the thing I took back was my smile.” – Alex Dang
I want something natural
No challenge too great to handle
No trying to boast or ramble
Love is here to be gambled
So I don’t want a sample
I want something that’s ample
– Reggie Johnson
Snapshots of a life lived with those small mundane moments that create someone’s very existence, only to shatter our hopes that it’d turn out differently…. – @Joseph Edwin Haeger
“The language of wrestling is poetic because it’s filled with metaphor and allusion and countless other vehicles for expression.” – Colin Bancroft
180 discusses the notion that as things around you move so quickly, it’s ok to slow down and reflect, restart or refocus. No matter how many times, I learned to continue to do what’s necessary in order to continue doing what you love.
But what stands out most in You Better Be Lightning is grace, for themselves and, often, for those who have harmed them.
Certain artists captivate me with the shock value they bring when it comes to the music they release… Listening to this song recently had the same reaction I had when listening to it the first time and I was able to curate a new piece. Enjoy!
In the beginning stages of my writing, I just wanted to mimic the musicality of the artists to improve my writing abilities.
This book isn’t about what we wish we could have said. No, it’s a collection full of things we’re too afraid to talk about.
Butler uses a seamless combination of 90s pop culture and imagery with slick rhymes and beautiful sonic and tonal qualities. These are poems that demand to be performed on a stage and to be read studiously at your desk. The musicality he brings elevates the feeling of nostalgia into a full soundtrack; you can see the protagonist walking to their perfect theme song. – Alex Dang
“The reverence isn’t in the experiences, it’s in the powerful men. A woman is supposed to feel flattered when a man finds her irresistible. This book is a middle finger to that expectation”. – Lannie Stabile
There is a sense of independence and protest, a polite shake of the head at social norms that says, “Thanks, but no thanks. We have our own way of doing things”. – Lannie Stabile
Khalisa Rae sat down with Gabrielle Bates, poet, podcast host, educator, gorgeous-picture taker, and all-around good person.
Pilgrim Bell takes you to a different you, past, present, and future. Each poem twisted my reality in such a way that it didn’t fully twist back. A new flexibility.
When mother tongue is villain, are you person or correction? When God and mother are both concerned with safety, but neither with voice, does safety exist?
Bloodwarm has the ability to turn heads, create conversation, and lead you toward change.
Because it’s not easy to discover your voice or yourself inside a world that doesn’t love you – or at least doesn’t love you back.
What sustains us? What nourishes our bones and our souls? How do we sustain each other? In the space between our most authentic selves and our most complicated desires, how do we connect with one another?
In each poem, readers can feel the undeniable aspect that, like nearly all mixtapes, this chapbook is for somebody (at the very least, the amalgamation of “you” that exists in all of our longings).
To tell our story, and to help tell other people, “Hey it’s okay if you’re fucked up for a long time after your dog dies.” Grief is such a wild journey, and it is different for all of us.
Didn’t know what depression felt like
Until I was nineteen
It took my crown and the jewels
And said it was fit to be king
Animals burn. Volcanos erupt. We aren’t told the story necessarily as it is; we are told how it feels to live and remember it.
I’ll understand my journey
But if need be,
Or if you need me,
May resilience resound my words,
Remember these things I say:
I still miss you
And I’d kiss you
If I could…
REPLAYS – Sip It by Iggy Azalea
The journey of an artist can be filled with highs and lows. Some meet roadblocks trying maintain success. One factor is the record label. Because of this, many artists, choose to go Independent. One of these is Australian rapper, Iggy Azalea.
As I ride the subway,
I look out into windows
Of parallel lives and trains,
Wondering how much of myself
Is looking back…
Wondering if he will see himself
REVIEW: COMB – SHADAB ZEEST HASHMI (SABLE BOOKS)
Migration challenges us to examine the “essence” of what makes us, us, and Hashmi duly documents the details.
#LENNY – S2/EP7(Ω): Ever So Lately
A hot comb straightens my new growth.
The edges of my existence.
Though I trim the dead ends,
My mane still feels unhealthy.
Still it seeks nourishment.
Something is missing and broken.
Broke and in pain
REVIEW: GIRLS LIKE US – ELIZABETH HAZEN (ALAN SQUIRE PUBLISHING)
Hazen has an acute ability to make a reader feel many unwanted things. Like recollection. Like commiseration. Like retroactive fear.
That the light we see,
And radio waves we receive,
Are just us…
Trying to communicate,
REPLAYS: HEARTBREAK ANNIVERSARY – GIVEON
I love the emotion as his baritone voice accentuates the rawness and sincerity in its lyrics. The relatability of the song draws people in and you cannot help but sing along.
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: LET GO OF THE HANDS YOU HOLD – MARISSA GLOVER (MERCER UNIVERSITY PRESS)
When I open this collection, I approach it differently than I would most. I flip pages and find connections in what could be disjointed and unconnected things.
REVIEW: GHOST IN A BLACK GIRL’S THROAT – KHALISA RAE (RED HEN PRESS)
This is a rally cry for self-hood. For respect. For dreams once had that can be had again. This is written to give voice to the timid, a path to the promise of never again escaping the you who you always thought you could be.
REVIEW: THE MATRIX – N.H. PRITCHARD (PRIMARY INFORMATION and UGLY DUCKLING PRESS)
The collection is ultra-visual, a singing arrangement of offerings that has eyes of its own, old eyes that gaze at us from source, unblinking, revealing nothing (and everything).
REVIEW: BY BUS – ERICA VAN HORN (UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE)
You find yourself next to the man licking the eczema on his arm, or next to the singing bus driver. Some of the people you meet on the bus will be lovely; others will be objectionable.
I remove myself,
Like a missing citation.
I carry the weight of thoughts,
But not the words
To reference the feelings,
I exist in narratives and stories
That I fear few will understand,
And even fewer will ever read.
I find comfort,
In who we are.
Like undesired pieces
On pages in a bin,
Soon to be deleted,
Immediately waiting to be erased,
From Random(ly) Accessed…
white people, do not recognize the need for succor in Black women, as early as ZERO years old. Their screams (voiced concerns or cries for help) appear no more urgent or fearsome than the twinkling of Christmas lights
My life is falling apart.
Slipping from my grasp,
While I hold it together,
I can’t understand
The reason for my circumstance.
I moved in slowly.
Circled my situation intently.
Vulture picking the carcass,
Of who I was and used to be.
My past became nourishment…
REVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS: PALM LINES – JONATHAN KOVEN (TOHO PUBLISHING)
Since completing its pages, I daydream of skies raining amethyst and words of wisdom yelled from random apartments windows.