Book Review. Poetry Collection – In a Dream you Saw a Way to Survive by Clementine Von Radics

Book Review

In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive

By Clementine Von Radics

IADYSAWTS is a collection of poetry on the grief of a relationship ending, which also explores family and mental illness. Carrie. A. Nation is a poem on addiction, and its legacy. For Vincent Van Gogh, Patron Saint of Psychotic Manic Depressives weaves Van Gogh’s story with the narrator’s diagnosis of manic depression. These are only two poems to pick out, there are so many I enjoyed in this collection. The poems are a mix of long and short. The stanzas in the poems are so well written, and so satisfying to read. The EMOTIONS this book took me through too. IADYSAWTS is one of my favourite collections of poetry.

Why am I always asked

to describe my madness

as though this condition was

not the absence of reason

and its language?

In a Dream you Saw a Way to Survive by Clementine Von Radics

Rating: 5 out of 5.
in a dream you saw a way to survive by Clementine Von Radics book cover image - two cupped  hands holding a large and colourful bouquet of flowers
credit Katie Lewington
https://ko-fi.com/klpoetry

Contains affiliate links. Doesn’t cost you anything, helps me out if you click on ‘em. Thank you.

Books to give you Guidance and Inspiration in Writing and Publishing.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Smash Poetry Journal: 125 writing Ideas for Inspiration and Self Exploration — Robert Lee Brewer

A Little History of Poetry — John Carey

Writing for Bliss: A Seven — Step Plan for Telling your Story and Transforming your Life — Diana Raab, PHD

Book Review. This is Just my Face Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe.

gabourey-sidibe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Review

I loved the book Precious, and so I requested to review Gabourey’s memoir to find out about the person who played the character Precious in the film of that book, as I thought Gabourey played the role brilliantly. In This is Just my Face she talks about that, and the feeling she had of being a contest winner as she stood between Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey on the red carpet, and described her ill-judged wardrobe choices, which I found so relatable, as was when she writes, ‘I couldn’t tell her that I couldn’t stop crying and that I hated everything about myself,’

Before she starred in Precious Gabourey was depressed, worked in a call centre, and didn’t have the desire to be a actress. Gabourey Sidibe writes about her childhood, but that is a whole story in itself, and I will leave that for you to read if you pick up a copy of this book.
Fame is frankly written about: the false rumours about her death, and misconceptions around money. Gabourey is down to earth, funny, and her book is one of those you don’t realise where you are, what’s going on around you, or even that you’re reading, because This is Just my Face is so entertaining.

 My only issue was I felt because some people had predicted Gabourey would be famous in the future, that she was almost flippant about getting the role of Precious, as she had such little acting experience – she was a two time college dropout, and then finds her purpose in life in acting, and in that breakthrough role. It read like a fairytale. I don’t know if that makes sense. I think if you experience depression, like me, you read memoirs and want to find out what did they do to overcome depression and achieve huge success. Or how do you do that when you feel like shit. But that doesn’t mean the depression has gone away.

I felt disappointed by the end of the book. If I re-read This is Just my Face, I might feel differently. Overall, an enjoyable read, and it gives you an insight into fame, and family.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me with a copy of this book! 

Contains affiliate links. Doesn’t cost you anything, helps me out if you click on ‘em. Thank you.

4 Questions with James F. Miller

1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

I am an outdoorsman, survivalist, recovered addict, musician, father, and so much more. I began writing in elementary school as song lyrics. This changed to poetry around middle school. I have been in and out of multiple colleges with various majors since the late 1990s. My range of interests is exceptionally large. Music management and live sound were my life for many years after I concluded my 8th semester in college. It was on the road, in the steady presence of excess that I found my weakness. My first book A Footnote for Tomorrow was about my struggles with addiction and my journey along the way to recovery. My second book is about the decline of society, morals, and values as both a broad spectrum and as it applies in the building block of society, the modern relationship.

2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

I promote via social media, occasional advertisements, and have a lot of help from outsourced marketing people to assist with my promotional activities. I could not say that it eats much into my time, because the bulk of my sales come through random meetings and conversations or successful marketing campaigns. I don’t really spend as much time writing as I spend on rewrites and editing of those hour or two here there writing sessions.

3, What projects are you working on at present? 

Presently, I am finishing up what will be my third full length collection, A Lesser Man, it’s a collection of poetry about person’s battle to find their way and identity in life, romance, career and especially faith. Those ups and downs turn arounds and revisions that we make along the journey that is defining us finding our own definition.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is that first big, deep, fresh breath of air that starts our days off. Without its release, I am not sure I could have been able to keep my composure to make it as far as I have in any aspect of my life. It’s as vital as water and food, it is the sustenance that sustains us.

James Miller is a poet from the Midwest. His passion for writing began to burn for him once he learned to write in cursive.  Putting pen to page is what makes him feel alive.  His book, A Footnote for Tomorrow, has held the No. 2 spot on Amazon Top New Releases list and remained in the top 10 for two months.  He has been published in the Tecumseh Review (Vincennes University, Indiana), in 2000, as well as various anthologies between 1997 and 2000.

Jim was born in 1970s in a small town in northern Indiana.  His early life was spent between Indiana, Florida and the New York area. After his many years in college, he took to the road and travelled the country in a quest to find himself and some meaning or purpose in life.

During his academic career, James studied English, creative writing, journalism, advertising, philosophy and music/audio recording. During that time, he attended several smaller community colleges including Vincennes University where he studied English-Creative Writing, Journalism and Music-Audio Recording.  During his time at VU he held an editor position on the school’s newspaper, The Trailblazer, for four semesters. 

When he is not writing, working on the family business or at the auto factory, Jim likes to throw on a backpack and hike or load up the kayak and head out into nature. He’s a curious man who will speak to anyone willing to have a meaningful conversation. 


Book Review The Woman with an Owl Tattoo by Anne Walsh Donnelly.

This life-affirming poetry collection reflects on the author’s growth since the ending of her marriage and what it means to unearth one’s true sexual orientation, in mid-life. Anne Walsh Donnelly’s intimate exploration of sexuality and identity is both brave and touching, marking this debut collection as a triumph.

“Anne Walsh Donnelly is by far the most daring poet to emerge in Ireland of late. The starkly honest and overt sexuality which pervades Anne’s poetry make the work of pretty much all her contemporaries appear repressed and backward-looking in comparison. This publication would certainly have been banned in the Ireland of the past. Indeed, she is one of the few poets around whose work has the glorious ability to get moralistic, supposedly liberal eyebrows twitching. Anne’s poems are pretty perfectly formed hand grenades which she tosses about the place with abandon while maintaining a deadpan face. I think this publication is the beginning of something great.” Kevin Higgins, author of Song of Songs 2.0: New & Selected Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2017).

TWWAOT is an astonishing collection of poetry by Anne Walsh Donnelly. The poems talk of the end of a marriage, to a discovery of sexuality and identity. Animals feature in a few of the poems, with the setting being a farm.  I loved the imagery in poems Tawny Owl and Metamorphosis, After Franz Kafka. There are a series of poems in TWWAOT, with a range of different scenarios, titled Coming out to my therapist, myself, my son, my daughter, mother, and father. They have the varying reactions to the narrator coming out as a lesbian. They also have dialogue. I love dialogue in poems.

Lava formed sills on my surface,

flushed my cheeks, just as my plates

were supposed to settle and glide into old age

a woman’s touch smashed my crust

The Woman with an Owl Tattoo by Anne Walsh Donnelly

I like TWWAOT is a voice from an older woman. I think it is important to have visible LGBTQ + voices from people of all ages, to be able to talk about the different challenges we all face, and to appreciate being our true selves is a brave act.

photo credit Kate Lewington

Contains affiliate links. Doesn’t cost you anything, helps me out if you click on ‘em. Thank you.