Author: Omar Holmon Publication date: May 12, 2020 Genre: poetry My rating: 4/5 stars
In his quick, lively debut collection, poet Omar Holmon delivers a rollercoaster of emotions chronicling everything from the death of a parent to racism to love to the pride in being a nerd. This is a book that will make you laugh, but will also make you think, often in the same poem. It may not be hugely advertised, but this is a solid addition to Button Poetry’s catalog, as well as an excellent testament to the experiences of a Black nerd trying to navigate family and this complicated world we live in.
Author: Brenna Twohy Publication date: October 1, 2019 Genre: poetry My rating: 4.5/5
There is no love poem here. I know because I looked for it.
from “It Has Been Too Long Since Anyone Has Seen Me Naked”
Surprise, surprise, another collection from Button Poetry that I absolutely adore. As many of you know, I’m a poetry geek, especially about spoken word poetry, and when it comes to spoken word, Button Poetry has some of the best talent out there. Frankly, if there’s a Button book on NetGalley, the odds are pretty high that I’m going to insist on reading it, and Swallowtail certainly did not disappoint. In her debut collection, Brenna Twohy examines topics including abusive relationships, trauma, suicide, femininity, love (or lack thereof), and healing, using metaphors ranging from the traditional (e.g. fruit) to the incredibly contemporary (e.g. Harry Potter). Her language is highly readable–seriously, I finished this entire collection in one sitting, on my lunch break–which makes me think that (a) these pieces would all be fantastic as spoken word/performance pieces, and (b) this collection will appeal to fans of contemporary poetry in general, as well as those who generally don’t like poetry because they find it “too stuffy” or “not relatable.”
Oh boy, this is my first time actually being tagged in a book tag! I was tagged by tiffshea at Reading to Escape (thank you!!) to complete this series of questions on “anything but books,” so you can get a snapshot of what I do when my nose isn’t stuck between pages. Apologies in advance for my indecision on so many of these.
Name a cartoon character than you love. Um…can I pick two? I love Squidward, from Spongebob, and Princess Carolyn, from BoJack Horseman. Both are highly relatable (unfortunately).
What is your favorite song right now? “Sisyphus” by Andrew Bird or “Bulletproof Baby” by The Struts. These are liable to change at any moment.
What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)? I feel like “writing” is a cop-out, but seriously, especially when working on a technically tricky type of poetry, I get in my zone and lose track of time altogether. If I’m not allowed to say that, then I’ll go with “folding origami while listening to music/podcasts.” Or napping.
What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by? I perform spoken word poetry, which I love. But more interestingly, I can rap. Like, pretty damn well. I have quite a few poetry videos, and I can probably dig up an old rap one somewhere…let me know in the comments if you would like to see some of those in a future post!
What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about? I have so many! Mental health conditions (common and rare alike), anything that has to do with interesting data manipulation or innovative data visualizations, sociopaths, ethics of AI…I’m all over the place.
What is something unusual you know how to do? As I said before, I can write and perform raps, which is not super common (especially for a white girl). And, while not necessarily something I KNOW how to do, I have perfect pitch, so I can identify any note just by hearing it, or sing a specified pitch on command without a reference note.
Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can). This origami rhino with a little haiku on why it’s important to help them! I made it for GISH, the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt, which I do every summer 😊
What is your most recent personal project? This blog. Trying to get it going, post more regularly, get some more followers, etc. Well, that and preparing for the LSAT, but that’s a very loose interpretation of “personal project.”
Tell us something you think about often (possibly while staring out of windows). How frequently humans squander potential because of indecision (myself included), the unstoppability of time, and how much exclusionists and asexual erasure annoy me.
Give us something that’s your favorite, but make it oddly specific. Favorite Green Day album: American Idiot, obviously (closely followed by Revolution Radio and Dookie, with an honorable mention to Warning)
Say the first thing that pops into your head: These boots were made for walking. (I just saw my cowboy boots on the floor, if you’re wondering what prompted that.)