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.

Poetry, PTSD and Awareness

Giveaway: The Ghosts Behind Us

We Will Not Be Silenced is a powerful anthology that I feel needs to be shared, read, and felt. Sexual assault and harassment awareness is important, especially in today’s political and social climate.

In an effort to help do this,
I’m giving away a short,
exclusive chapbook called
The Ghosts Behind Us.

Here are the rules:

Purchase the book (print or kindle version)
OR
Share information about it on at least one social media

That’s it.

Just send me a screenshot (email, PM on Facebook, DM on Instagram) and make sure I have your email so I can send you a copy. I’m keeping the giveaway open until Sunday (12/16) at midnight. I’ll send the chapbook after the giveaway period ends.

Here’s a link to find We Will Not Be Silenced on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732800006

Read more about the anthology here.

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

Updates

Composition Of A Woman Is Now Available

Composition of a Woman
is currently available on
Amazon.com,
Amazon.ca (Canada)
and Amazon Europe
(Amazon.co.ukAmazon.de,
Amazon.frAmazon.it,
and Amazon.es)

Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)
and Barnes & Noble are coming soon.

Signed copies of Composition of a Woman
are also available on the
Sudden Denouement Etsy site.

If you’re curious to know more
about this book,
check out this quick video
from Dena Daigle.

Updates

Long Overdue: Superstition By Rana Kelly

I’ve been long overdue in announcing
Sudden Denouement Publishing’s
incredible poetry collection from Rana Kelly,
Superstition.

A review worth checking out:
Lois Linkens

Other reviews:
Goodreads

Where to get your copy:
Amazon US · Amazon UK · Book Depository

Updates

Long Overdue: I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl By Nicole Lyons

I’ve been long overdue in announcing
Sudden Denouement Publishing’s
amazing poetry collection from Nicole Lyons,
I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl.
Nicole Lyons is a force of nature
disguised as a writer, a social activist,
a voice for the downtrodden,
and a powerful poet with a delicate touch.
She is a consulting editor at
Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.
She can be found on her website,
Instagram, and Twitter.

These are a few reviews worth checking out:
Georgia Park
Nicholas Gagnier

Other reviews:
Goodreads

Where to get your copy:
Amazon US · Amazon UK · Book Depository

Updates

Long Overdue: Machiavelli’s Backyard By David Lohrey

I’ve been long overdue in announcing
Sudden Denouement Publishing’s debut
poetry collection from David Lohrey,
Machiavelli’s Backyard.
Lohrey has a long background in writing
and currently is a contributing writer
and managing editor at
Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

Find his book and check out the reviews:
Goodreads
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Book Depository

Updates

A Sparrow Stirs its Wings By Rachel Finch Is Now Available

Sudden Denouement Publishing proudly announces
the release of Rachel Finch’s stunning book of poetry,
A Sparrow Stirs its Wings.
Finch is the powerhouse behind the
Bruised But Not Broken community on Facebook,
which provides support and healing for trauma survivors.
Her writings can also be found
on her website, and Blood Into Ink.
She is a symbol of hope and light throughout the world.

These are a few reviews worth checking out:
Faye K. Brown
Nicole Lyons

Find her book on Amazon.