Blood Dazzler – Patricia Smith

This book is like a stick of dynamite that wedges itself into your psyche and soul. Blood Dazzler is a slow burning minute by minute account of hurricane Katrina and the violence and horror it left in its wake. The pacing and language are unlike anything I have ever read in a collection of poetry. By the end you will be left breathless .

Last Vanities – Fleur Jaeggy

In this slim, gothic collection of short fiction Fleur Jaeggy does a deep dive into the complex and dark aspects of human nature, against a chilling Alpine backdrop. The subject matter may not be for everyone but the writing has razor sharp precision and focus.

Bluets – Maggie Nelson

One half lyric essay other half prose poetry Maggie Nelson’s documents her experience with the colour blue in all its synesthetic beauty, meditating on questions that circle around desire, compulsion, destiny and existence.

An Honest Woman – Jónína Kirton

This book truly leaves its mark on you. This is one of those collections I will always return to and draw inspiration from. Jónína Kirton uses poetry as a tool of tender extraction and analyzation. She contemplates on a past filled with pain and trauma while circumventing a problematic contemporary landscape. It was a book that gave me the courage to tell my own stories.

The Wife – Meg Wolitzer

Ten years before it became a movie I discovered this novel randomly on a shelf in my local library. Not even one page in, I found myself immediately drawn to Meg Wolitzer’s wry, intelligent style of writing as well as the novel’s compelling storyline of a woman who puts her own literary talents on hold in order to bolster her very repugnant husband’s. This book was written before the #metoo movement so it always felt like a bit of a trailblazer with its exposure of the literary “old boys club” and commentary on sexism and power dynamics in the educational institutions. Although I enjoyed the movie I would recommend the book if you had to choose between the two.

Carlie Blume is a Vancouver born writer of poetry and fiction. She is a 2017 graduate of The Writer’s Studio, Betsy Warland’s Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, and Chelene Knight’s Advanced Poetry Workshop. Her work has appeared in The Maynard, Train: a poetry journal, Pulp MAG, Loose Lips Magazine, BAD DOG Review, GUEST Poetry Journal and Ghost City Review. She lives outside of Vancouver with her husband and two children where she is currently working on her first novel.

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