My thoughts on Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur.

milkhoneylewington

 

Title: Milk & Honey

Author: Rupi Kaur

Genre: Poetry

Rating:

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

buy_now_amazon

goodreads-logo (1)

 

 

 

lewingtonbookreviewcopyright

calum-lewis-390173-unsplash
I was not sure what to think of this 2015 debut poetry collection by Rupi Kaur. I had seen a lot of her poetry quoted on social media, and have only just got a hold of her book from my local library, which still has its surprises. If you think you have read all of her best writing, there is still plenty in Milk and Honey that you won’t have already seen.
I keep flicking through the book, finding new poems. The poems are in short form, as well as prose. I can’t argue with a lot of what Kaur writes about our bodies, and loving ourselves. Poems about beauty, periods, body hair, and one of my favourites on page 201

 

“what terrifies me most is how we
Foam at the mouth with envy
When others succeed
But sigh in relief
When they are failing,”

The feminist subjects make this book another one I wish I had when I was a teenager, and all I wanted was a boyfriend, like everybody else, and how accepting ourselves first is important because we give so much of ourselves away. The Loving section is a good narrative of a relationship: the intimacy, the fighting, the heartbreak, and letting go.

It is interesting to read this book now because I think Kaur has inspired so many poets. I didn’t begin by reading her, I began with Amanda Lovelace, and Jennae Cecilia. The styles I think are quite similar, as well as some of the subjects they write about.
I enjoyed Milk and Honey. I couldn’t connect with all of the poems, but I appreciate Kaur’s writing, and her experiences.



tumblr_oqa8inOc1K1vuv1n1_r1_og_1280

Fem lit.

I have been reading a few excellent fem lit books over the last few weeks. I am not entirely sold on calling them fem lit, but as a rule I don’t really like slapping genres on books, because they’re merely labels. Here are the books.

I only discovered feminism four, five years ago. I have grown up in a very working class, women are wives, and mothers etc. background. There were no role models.

I feel as if I have been under a rock. As Laura writes in Girl Up once you start seeing everyday sexism it’s like you have put on a 3D pair of glasses. Situations I have felt uncomfortable in, and should have spoken up in, now make sense. I had the right to say no.

The world has been against us for centuries!

A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.

Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets–to be released as a handbound chapbook–has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with a portion of proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Denice Frohman, Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker.

They told you you need to be thin and beautiful.

They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups – never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels.

They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty.

They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you’ll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it’s fine for the boys, but you should know your place.

They told you ‘that’s not for girls’ – ‘take it as a compliment’ – ‘don’t rock the boat’ – ‘that’ll go straight to your hips’.

They told you ‘beauty is on the inside’, but you knew they didn’t really mean it.

Well screw that. I’m here to tell you something else.

Hilarious, jaunty and bold, GIRL UP exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of a sex and relationships, the trials of social media and all the other lies they told us.

She Must be Mad explores coming-of-age: the pain and beauty of love, the relief and the agony of turning from girl to woman, the isolation of an untethered mind and the power and subjugation of the body.

Charly captures the formative experiences of today’s young women from the poignant to the prosaic in writing that is at once witty, wry and heartfelt. Wayward nights out that don’t go as planned; the righteous anger at those men with no talent or skill or smarts who occupy the most powerful positions in the world; the strange banality of madness and, of course, the hurt and indecision of unrequited love.For every woman surviving and thriving in today’s world, for every girl who feels too much; this is a call for communion, and you are not alone.


Here comes the Sun 🌞 Book Birthday

wp-1527930467992..jpeg

I wasn’t going to celebrate this, but then I usually try to avoid such things, like celebrating my own birthday, and publishing your own book is an achievement, so my poetry chapbook Here comes the Sun is one today! I spent a large part of June in 2017 working on this chapbook, before uploading the file onto Createspace. The poems were written whilst I was travelling in 2016. I left home, my boyfriend and I were travelling, living in hotels, and having a good time. The book has gotten some great reviews from readers. I value reviews so much. The feedback helps me to be a better writer, and on days I am not motivated can really raise spirit.

I also want to thank Jennifer Patino for her review of my other book La La Love.

La La Love hands out small poetic doses with each turn of the page. Katie Lewington’s voice and style are enough to cause an addiction. This collection is personal, but doesn’t give away all of the poet’s secrets. Instead the reader is presented with beautiful skimmings of surfaces until the closing lines of each poem, where Lewington successfully brings our minds to a much deeper climax. Excellent poetry.

I am now going to talk about my writing routine.

IMG_20180621_153943_537

I have usually written my poems, ad hoc in most cases, and when I see a theme emerging I work on compiling those poems. With Here comes the Sun that theme was travel. I had the poems all handwritten, and I started to edit the the poems, and to try to put them in an order that made them sit comfortably into the context of the book. I didn’t want to put, for example, two poems about the beach together that would have not moved the reader in the same way if they had read them two, three poems apart.
There was one poem, which I liked, that I cut from Here comes the Sun. I didn’t feel it had enough substance to it. These decisions have to be done, but they are not easy. Editing is a difficult part of the process. As I get older I see the value in doing so, and orchestrating the book in a way it will get the right emotional responses from its reader.
I then get the completed book read by my boyfriend. He’s so smart, and knows about everything, so I feel my poetry is in safe hands. I wait for a yay or nay (his feedback is literally that succinct) With his support I feel more confident about my new book.
I think any writer feels a bit fragile after writing their book. Best to have a short nap afterwards.
That is pretty much it, compiling, editing, and feedback. Of course, the time between steps can be weeks, months, or years. I tend to procrasinate around the editing part. That’s where a lot of the living happens and I have to make the time inbetween that to work on my writing: fixing errors, changing titles, making sense of my scribbles etc.
It can be lonely as well. For all of social medias faults it has made it easier for writers to confab with each other about their craft, which I think is pretty awesome.


Continue reading “Here comes the Sun 🌞 Book Birthday”

Four Questions with Kristin Garth ( @lolaandjolie )

janita-sumeiko-AprilFourQuestions529471

Kristin Garth

kirstenimage


Continue reading “Four Questions with Kristin Garth ( @lolaandjolie )”