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Reader’s Lounge

by Laura Youells


This month, we are featuring four books of poetry in celebration of National Poetry Month. Each work, while unique, brings about an awareness of experience through an empathetic connection of emotion between the reader and author. Some will hurt and some will heal, but we all need to feel a little vulnerability in our experiences to find healing.

The Sun & Her Flowers
by Rupi Kaur
In The Sun & Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur uses simple phrases in her lyrical prose that cut through to an emotional experience. Her illustrations add a rawness and depth to her words. The book reads like a journey of growth in five sections from wilting to blooming. Some poems felt like a memory stuck in my throat, but the memory isn’t as lonely on the page reading Rupi Kaur’s words.

Strings Attached
by Diane DeCillis
Strings Attached explores the theme
of how strings bind us in our lives and relationships. Diane DeCillis uses details and measured observations to paint the emotion of a poem. She also explores feminism and different cultures through a Lebanese experience. Some poems give a gentle reminder that being an outsider is OK and to embrace the differences that define who we are as women. These poems don’t need to be read in any particular order.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf
by Ntozake Shange
This last book is a choreopoem, a term coined by this work, or a form of dramatic expression that combines mediums. This piece combines poetry and performance, so it reads like a script. The original performance was done with the author in 1975. This edition provides interesting information about that first performance in the first few pages and includes some pictures in the back. There are seven women of various colors of the rainbow who all have different personalities. They endure horrible experiences that women today still face, but they come together at the end to create something amazing.

Self-Preservationist
by Elaina Smith
Self-Preservationist is a book of poetry published by the local author Elaina Smith of Grand Rapids. Not only does this book contain her poetry, but it also contains a lot of her local photography. Touching on some mental health topics like anxiety and depression, Elaina shares a lot of anguish and insight. Be sure to check out this little gem!

Laura Youells

Laura is an Adult Paraprofessional at the Comstock Park branch of Kent District Library. When she isn’t working she enjoys reading, watching movies, doing home improvements and going on hikes with her dog Wyatt.

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