Random Thoughts

SMITTEN Is A Must Read

Indie Blu(e)’s Smitten should be your newest gift of poetry

By Mariah Voutilainen

Before I begin to review Smitten, a book that lays bare and re-frames (in a very personal manner) the love that women have for women, I must be equally open.  As I formed my thoughts, I realized that I was (and am) extremely nervous about how to respond to these poems from my own heterosexual, cis female lens.  I felt this because I am a woman of color, one who feels the simmering heat of frustration when those who cannot ever know my experience want to take a stab at relating to it.  What I can say is the following:  While Smitten is a book about women who love women (from every-which perspective), of course, it is about love.  And I can relate to love.  I can understand first love, last love, forbidden love, unrequited love, the love of someone lost, the love of someone found.  The love of someone who saves.

But in truth, even as a woman of color married to a white man, I have not experienced love that is criticized or fetishized by outsiders, that is closeted by well (and not-so-well) meaning family.  I will never feel the excruciating pain of those who are beat down because of whom or how they love.  So, as I opened up my advance copy of Smitten, it was with delicate hands, an open and reverent heart—because that is how I wish my own poetry to be read.

Over a hundred poems about women, by women.  Can I say how exhilarating it is to have read so many at one go?  I happily recognized quite a few of the poets—hailing from an independent poetry network often curated by Indie Blu(e) Publishing:  Tara Caribou, Candice Louisa Daquin, Christine E. Ray, Kindra M. Austin and Georgia Park, to name a few.  But there was a mélange of poets new to me, whose unique voices were employed in a variety of styles from musical to prose to concrete poetry.  Among my favorites were Paula Jellis’ “I want a woman with a big bouffant,” Katherine DeGilio’s “Sunburned Shoulders,” Nick Kay’s “The Value of a Rusty Coin,” Jessica Jacobs’ “Out of the Windfields,” and Susan M. Conway’s “Letters to my Love.”

Would that I could list every single poem (my list is long), as they touched my sensibilities in different ways.  Some entreat us to dance to an inaudible tune; others confide to us the secrets of nerve-wracked first kisses; they relate the early-in-the-morning and late-at-night mundanities of love. But we are also invited to the troubled history of these loves in poems such as “Love is Our Theory” (Sean Heather K. McGraw), “Letter from Lock Up to the NYPD, June 1969, Christopher Street” (Melissa Fadul) and “You Don’t Deserve to Read About My Life” (Georgia Park).  These such poems are the ones that will be hardest to bear, but among the most important to read.

This is a book that should be gifted.  In spite of its implied audience, Smitten is not just for women who adore women.  It is for those whose hearts flutter and skin goosebumps at romance, who know the flight of butterflies in their stomachs and who long for the feeling of home in another’s heart.

 

SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like: Poetry by Women for Women an Anthology is now available on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions.   Request it at your local/international bookstores.


Mariah Voutilainen writes poetry and prose about all manner of things at www.reimaginingthemundane.wordpress.com.

Updates

Just Released! All The Lonely People by Nicholas Gagnier


It is my pleasure to announce that
Nicholas Gagnier has released
All The Lonely People!

This collection of poetry
is a follow-up to Swear To Me.
And just like the Swear To Me,
I am humbled to have been a part
of a large collaborative effort
that was included in this book.

A heartfelt congratulations to my friend
for another amazing collection.
Here’s to many more to come!

Now available on Amazon.com
and Amazon.com.uk.

Updates

Now Available: Nicole Lyons’ Blossom and Bone

Sudden Denouement Publishing is thrilled to announce
that Nicole Lyons stunning third book of poetry,
Blossom and Bone, has been officially released.

Praise for Blossom and Bone:

“A beautifully crafted work of art that will punch you in the
face with its gritty realism before soothing your wounds with
elegant prose, thought provoking lines, and sublime imagery.”
– Samuel Decker Thompson, author of Our Fucked Up Hearts

“Lyons is connecting on a primal level here, all the while brilliantly
splitting herself along dual lines. She draws an effortless
parallel between desire to live and acceptance she cannot beat
death.”
– Nicholas Gagnier, author of Leonard The Liar

Read more of the amazing early reviews here.

Get your copy here.

Congrats, Nicole! I’m so happy for you.
~Sarah

Earthen Witch, Updates

Review Of Just Breathe From Indie Blue

I read somewhere that Sarah sees her writing poetry as a moment, whereas her writing fiction as a lifetime, and when I read this, it made total sense to me because I’ve read Sarah’s poetry for years and it is a moment, a strong powerful smack in the gut moment, but definitely a moment, whereas when I read her fiction, I can see the entire universe is being considered and she is methodical, paced and thorough in her plotting and building of characters.

Just Breathe delivered for me. I was surprised. Sarah knows her art, and she drew me into her world almost immediately.

I’m very familiar with Sarah’s poetry and have always appreciated her blunt and honest way of telling it like it is, that’s why it was a surprise to find out she is equally conversant and gifted with longer art forms. This isn’t just a hobby for her, you can tell she takes her writing very seriously and spends a lot of time ensuring she gets it right.

It doesn’t matter if a character
is a witch or a vampire
and whether those things exist
in our world or do not,
it matters that we believe
as we read that they are real.
That way we become
invested in them.

Aisling (the heroine) is the kind of woman that women can relate to and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she feels is right. For this reason, Just Breathe is a deeply redemptive book and that alone makes it worthy of reading.

And with this I leave you with one recommendation, pick Sarah Doughty’s work out of the genre and let it Just Breathe.

Special thanks to Indie Blu(e) and Candice Louisa Daquin
for such an eloquent review of Just Breathe.
While this is merely an excerpt of the entire review,
I am beyond humbled at all the kind things
she had to say about the book.
To read the review in its entirety, click here.

~ Sarah Doughty

Updates

Reviews For Sudden Denouement’s Anthology

Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
has already met some impeccable milestones.
Not only did it release
#1 on Amazon’s Poetry Anthology list,
but the reviews are coming in
and they are glowing.

Advance Reader Copy Reviews:

Candice Louisa Daquin’s Review
Alfa’s Review
Mariah Voutilainen’s Review

Other reviews:

Goodreads

Where To Get Your Copy:

Amazon US · Amazon UK · Book Depository

Updates

Thank You! – Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

I am both honored and pleased to announce that
Anthology Volume I: Writings for the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective
released on Amazon at #1 in Poetry Anthologies.

Thank you for making this possible.

If you haven’t yet purchased a copy,
you can find it on Amazon.com
and Amazon.com.uk.

Updates

Just Released! Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

It is my pleasure to announce that the
Sudden Denouement Anthology
has officially released!

I am humbled to have been a part
of this incredible collection of talented writers.
My donation of four pieces
(one of which has never before been shared)
awaits your hungry eyes.

The Sudden Denoument Literary Collective is thrilled to announce the release of Anthology Volume I: Writings for the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective! This long-awaited anthology is a thoughtfully curated compendium of the best writing published online by the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective from its launch in August of 2016 through April 2018. It includes 138 pieces of cutting-edge poetry, prose and short fiction written by 29 diverse writers from England, Romania, Japan, India, Finland, the United States and Canada. Thirty-one of the 138 pieces were written exclusively for the Anthology. This volume captures the astonishing raw power of these individual and united poetic voices.

Now available on Amazon.com
and Amazon.com.uk.

Updates

Coming soon: Sudden Denouement Anthology Volume I

The editors of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective are thrilled to announce the upcoming release of the first Sudden Denouement Anthology! I am excited to be a part of it.

Read more about it here.

Until Next Time,
Sarah Doughty

Earthen Witch, Updates

Listen Is Now Available

Listen is now available at most online retailers, including iBooks, Barnes And Noble, and Kobo! Find the links here. Because my books are free, Amazon won’t add them to their catalog, but if you have a Kindle, you can find mobi files at Smashwords!

If you enjoy it, I encourage you to leave a review on Goodreads and your preferred retailer!