Poetry Book Review

In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive

In a Dream You Saw a Way to SurviveIn a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive
Author: Clementine von Radics
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
First Published: April 9, 2019
Genres: Poetry, Queer
Pages: 96
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley


A lyrical poet, Clementine von Radics presents In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive, a collection of brutally honest poetry that lends itself to the powerful anthem of survival.

This collection bravely explores life at its darkest and most inspiring moments—drawing on central themes of love, loss, mental health, and abuse. An attempt to understand and to be understood, In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive is an ode to vulnerability that delivers concentrated, thought-provoking, and earnest verse.

My Thoughts

In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive is one of the most beautiful poetry collections that I’ve read in ages. I was drawn in from the first page and had a very hard time putting this book down. The author has a voice that is honest and skilled in creating gorgeous prose.

“What a short life the bullet has compared to the wound.”

The author tackles a lot of deeply personal subjects: surviving infidelity, dealing with manic depression, the gradual decline and death of a family member, of surviving domestic abuse; each one themed around survival. So many of the subjects hit close to home for me, especially the topics about the struggle to move past infidelity as it is a subject that I have been struggling with this past year. Finding that I wasn’t alone was a deep comfort to me, and the author approaches these subjects with both empathy and transparency, I didn’t feel that I was being preached to unlike many works that try and broach these sorts of subjects.

I also felt that this collection was exactly the right length too. Lately, I’ve been feeling that many of the poetry books that I’ve picked up were overlong and extremely repetitive. This collections struck a good balance from piece to piece, each one was memorable and was different even when discussing the same topic. I feel already that this will be one of my favorite books I read this year and is easily one of my favorite poetry collections that I’ve picked up.


About Clementine von Radics

clementine is a queer, nonbinary poet and sagittarius from oregon. after dropping out of college at 20, they established a large following on tumblr posting confessional, conversational poetry.

they served as a founding collective member of Slamlandia Poetry Slam, as well as the slam master at the Portland Poetry Slam. they are one half of the moon Collective with Sabrina Benaim, and together the two of them founded the Slumber Party Writing Retreat.

over the past five years clementine has toured extensively, performing in 49 states and six countries. they have taught workshops at universities, high schools, and correctional facilities.

I’m a Filipino American blogger, historian, and lazy writer. I enjoy books, video games, anime/manga, and smoking hookah.

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