My thoughts on The Future by @Neilicorn @buttonpoetry

Publisher Button Poetry

Release Date April 3rd 2018

Average Rating 5.0 / 5 🌟

I have a feeling reading Hilborn’s book The Future he’s a really cool guy.
He writes a poem in this book called Bruce Springsteen will Never Die (which seems to affirm it) ‘I mean that the Reaper has Nebraska in his top five albums and won’t take the Boss because He also likes going to arena shows in Jersey,’ and ‘it’s going to be lonely for Bruce when we’re all gone,’ This poem pretty much makes the book for me. I love Springsteen, and I also love the way in which Hilborn writes. It’s conversational, and reads like a spiel of his thoughts. I like the story behind the book too. Hilborn wrote much of the poems while on the road, performing his poems. Hilborn also writes that the audiences helped shape his poems, so this book has had many editors. It’s why these poems do have an encompassing feeling of life lived. The subjects explored are nostalgia, sex, ‘it’s pretty hard to make
someone orgasm when you’re trying
to remember what you paid
for the couch,’
pets, being sixteen, and mental health. Hilborn writes a couple of poems about suicide, and the conflicting nature of it. ‘that place is called the world, and
if you want to live it’s really
the only option. You could choose not to,
but then
where would you get really great sandwiches or listen to Springsteen
with the windows down?’
I love sandwiches as much as I do Springsteen, so interesting viewpoints here.
In poem Welcome to Wall Drug, the words ‘whoever designed this place
was clearly very mentally ill, or
at least in my head,
so in my head it’s great to see that a crazy person
can put together something
so successful and beloved,’
are the exact same words I would return back to Hilborn, he does this with The Future for me. Two of my very favourite poems in this book are the title poem, which just had me shook, and Me, but Happy. This poem has become one of my favourite poems ever written by anyone, ‘I want to thank you for making all the love songs mean something again,’

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My thoughts on Small Stones from the River by Kat Lehmann ( @songsofkat )

  • Publisher
  • Release Date 29th June 2017
  • Average Rating 4.2 / 5 🌟

Available on KU


Lehmann describes the writing in her book as meditations and micropoems. They seem made for fridge magnets, bookmarks, and greeting cards. In a world that seems increasingly cruel, inhumane, and barbaric Small Stones from the River is encouraging, thought provoking, and inspiring.

The limitations
I place
On the dreams
Of others
Are the same limitations
I place
On myself

One that I personally believe in

Your legacy
is your love

that’s the best thing you do

If ever you needed some word medicine I believe Lehmann’s words, if you truly try to believe in them, will help heal you.

This one:

if you feel
your heart
is eager to rain
bring it a gift
of sunshine instead
and marvel
at the glorious colours
it makes

made me think of the beauty of the rainbow patterns on rained on concrete when the sun comes out.

make a certain peace
with stagnation

ask it to tea
and stare patiently at one another

when it is time to get up
both of you
will know

Further Reading


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My thoughts on Digging Holes to Another Continent Isabelle Kenyon  ( @kenyon_isabelle )


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Isabelle is gifting a free ebook of her first poetry book This is not a Spectacle to those that do preorder Digging Holes to Another Continent & sends her a screenshot of the purchase confirmation before the end of April.

Here is a poem from This is not a Spectacle.

Preorder Digging Holes to Another Continent from the publisher Claire Songbirds


Isabelle Kenyon is a UK based poet and a graduate in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance from the University of York.

Isabelle Kenyon is the author of poetry anthology, This is not a Spectacle and micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered, published by Origami Poetry Press. She is also the editor of MIND Poetry Anthology ‘Please Hear What I’m Not Saying’ and her latest release, Digging Holes To Another Continent, will be published by Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York, this May.

She performs at spoken word events such as 1000 Monkeys, in Guildford, and has opened Coventry Cathedral’s Plum Line Festival. She is set to open the New Mills Arts Festival later this year.

Her poems have been published in literary magazines such as Scrittura, Eskimo Pie, Anti Heroin Chic, Literary Yard, and Bewildering Stories.

Anthologies and Competition credits: The Inkyneedles anthology, the Great British Write Off, the Wirral festival of Music, Speech and Drama, Poetry Rivals, and the Festival of Firsts. Third place in the Langwith Scott Award for Art and Drama and runner up in the Visit Newark Poetry Competition.


I like both poems that begin and finish this book. They have such a depth, and quality to them. So different in tone to the other poems in the book, which are playful. These are poems from New Zealand, small observations of Isabelle’s surroundings, from beaches to trees, and Christmas,

‘outside our Western culture, I watch

Chinese, Indian, Asian, and Maori

feast on barbecued meats

to Katy Perry blasted speakers

with no thoughts for baby Jesus,’

There is what feels to me a strong theme of family, and unity, to grandparents, to teenagers too old to be making sandcastles. I have to say poem Little Bird was a favourite, as it brought up memories of my brother and I cracking up at the strange strut that birds have while on a family holiday. My brother would make up voices for them, and I would be roaring with laughter.

My one criticism would be the repeat of a few of the words, bobbing being one. As you don’t have that same delight of reading the words in a poem on the second occasion for a first time. Isabelle does a marvellous job of writing the poems, with certain subjects – road trips, beaches, etc. occurring again and again. She finds a new way of describing the scene, and putting the reader in the picture.

Digging Holes to Another Continent is all too brief, but do journeys not all feel like that at the end?

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My thoughts on Wayward Daughters by Ashly Kim @ashlykimchi

Genre Poetry

Pages 63

Release Date August 15th 2017

Average Rating 4.7 / 5 🌟

available on KU


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I love to travel, the impermanence of where ‘home’ is, and having nothing, but fast food as an option for sustenance. So I loved this themed book by Ashly Kim. Three sisters are on the road, having left home, and Ashly uses the theme of family, as well as travel, and relationships.

‘oh, the shame

our mother wept

the entire sleepy town knew

the Greene girls had

run away,’

The Greene sisters are deftly shown to have different personalities, and the fun they have, such as in Dust, a poem written entirely in dialogue, as well as their relationships with one another.

‘and Madison read aloud

while Cassie painted

her nails,’

Wayward Daughters always hints at something darker, deeper, beneath the surface, alluding to abuse,

and the sense that when you return, if you return home, you will not be the same person that you were on the eve that you left.





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My thoughts on Semi Colon; by McKayla DeBonis @mckayladebonis


Genre Poetry

Pages 70

Publisher Createspace

Release Date January twelfth 2018

Average Rating 4.6 / 5 🌟

available on KU



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Split into two chapters of Darkness, and Light, Darkness writes from a place of depression, a possible eating disorder, and emotional turmoil. McKayla does not title her poems, and invites the reader to make these poems our own. They do feel general. There are a few of the poems, like Dear Me that writes,

‘i don’t see you

making it to 18

i don’t see you fulfilling your dreams,’

that really got to me. I also like that McKayla writes a graphic, as it’s happening, incident of self- harm in one of the poems, as it’s not something I find is written about in poetry, and perhaps is too taboo for some people.

Lightness is the balance to that darkness, and a getting back onto your feet,

‘but i continued to fight

just so i could have

the last laugh,’

I did feel that McKayla opened herself up to the reader, and Semi-Colon is an unguarded read. It’s honest.

Well presented, illustrated, and edited, McKayla is a poet I cannot wait to read more of.

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