Witches and Mermaids, oh my

36297088It has been a long winter so far, and it has barely started. Work has been kicking my ass, and I have been trying to get my Christmas shopping done before December (mostly succeeded) because I hate crowds, so I avoid malls and shopping centers in the month of December.

One part of Christmas shopping that I enjoy, though, is getting everyone on my list a book as part of their gift. Figuring out just which book to get each person is a lot of fun.

In the meantime, while my personal reading has been curtailed, I do have some book reviews to catch up on.

In recent years, I have been trying to read more poetry. Before this, I was not aware of the concept of Instagram Poetry. The poems tend to be shorter, and the poets younger, and often female. Names like Rupi Kaur, Nikita Gill, and amanda lovelace (yes, lowercase) come up in this category. The first did not work for me, the second blew me away (and I now follow on Instagram), and now I’ve tried the third, and I have become a fan of her as well.

The collections The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One and The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One are part of a series of poetry collections that examine feminist themes through. The first uses imagery from witch burnings, and the second The Little Mermaid (where the mermaid sacrificed her tail for a man who turns to someone else). They are taking the stories we grew up on and giving them a little twist for the modern era.

When I started reading this type of poetry, it took a while to get used to it. My memories of poetry in school was of longer poems with complicated rhyming schemes. Instagram poets tend to be short free verse, verging on being slogans. When well done, they can definitely provoke thought.

And being short, these books are perfect for reading a few pages before bed (or, I hate to admit it, sitting on the toilet)

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for letting me read The Mermaid’s voice.

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