• Poetry Book Review

    Helium

    My Review: Goodness gracious Helium was such a breath of fresh air. Francisco writes with a voice that is down to earth and full of so much truth about life today in America. I greatly enjoyed this collection, it was free verse but many of the poems were still littered with beautiful metaphors and allegories. After every poem I finished, I appreciated the medium so much more. The author pulls no punches when discussing contemporary issues such as in The Heart and the Fist, which is about toxic masculinity and violence; or Adrenaline Rush, a poem about police brutality. Many of the poems from this collection have been performed live…

  • Poetry Book Review

    The Future

    My Review: So I discovered Hilborn’s work after watching him perform The Future a couple of years back and the poem had stayed with me ever since. I sought out more of Hilborn’s work and fell in love with his first collection, Our Numbered Days. I don’t know why The Future just didn’t click with me. There were a few poems that were good, the titular poem of course being one of his most outstanding pieces, but the rest of the collection fell kind of flat. Hilborn’s musings about depression, love, and loss are still present, such as in How Do You Sleep with an IV In? There were some…

  • Book Review

    Heart Berries

    Warnings: Sexually Explicit Content, Violence, Abuse My Thoughts What an outstanding memoir, Heart Berries was unputdownable and is one of the few books that I would honestly read again. Terese’s prose is precise and strikingly beautiful even when she is talking about difficult topics. I read the book over the course of a day at work and I was fully absorbed in the author’s story. This book was a lot of things. It is a book about reckoning with mental illness and childhood abuse, about motherhood and her struggle to maintain personal relationships, about finding an indigenous voice that is authentic to her. Heart Berries is short but tells a…

  • Book Review

    If They Come for Us

    My Thoughts My goodness, what an astounding collection of poetry! I was absolutely dazzled by this debut collection and I’m honestly ashamed that I was granted a review copy and did not get to read it sooner. Asghar speaks to a generation of Asian American women with a great deal of understanding and empathy. There were several times where a poem hit close to home, particularly in the sections about needing to cover up one’s race and religion, or of the shame that comes with losing one’s native language. “You speak a language until you don’t. Until you only recognize it between your auntie’s lips. Your father was fluent in…