October 16, 2014

Book Review: Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls

When i first heard of this poetry anthology i got so very excited. Firstly, it was published by one of my favorite publishing houses, Write Bloody Publishing. Write Bloody Publishing is an independent American publishing house that publishes contemporary poetry. Secondly, the book was edited by Mindy Nettifee among Karen Finneyfrock and Rachel McKibbens. Nettifee is one of my favorite modern poets, Finneyfrock and McKibbens on the other hand are new names to me, but i thoroughly enjoyed their work in the anthology as well. And thirdly, besides Nettifee's works, the book also includes some of my other favorite poets such as Amber Tamblyn (from who's instagram i first heard about the book) and Jeanann Verlee. Lastly, America Ferrera, who i adore, said about the anthology: ”These poems are full of pain, humor, and guts. I wish this was required reading when I was in school.” If these points don't make you wanna just go and get your hands on this collection right now, then i don't know what will. Also i don't understand you. At all.

Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls
edited by Karen Finneyfrock, Mindy Nettifee, & Rachel McKibbens

Number of pages: 180
Release Date: 28th of March 2014
Publisher: Write Bloody Publishing
Genre: Poetry
Topics: feminism, friendship, growing up, motherhood, death etc.
On Goodreads

What is it about?
Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls is pretty much the book what the title promises it to be. It is a collection of poems written by women. More so, it is a collection of the works of (in my opinion) some of the best female poets of today. The works in Courage deal with all aspects of girlhood and what it means to grow up as a woman in today's society. It tackels such issues as race, first love, feminism, being a sister and a friend, motherhood and facing misogyny & sexism.

What did I think?
It's probably given, but i absolutely loved this book! I read it out loud to myself in three nights. It is a book you could read in one sitting but i like to read poems in small proportions so that i can really feel the words and what is being said, or left unsaid. In the foreword the editors promise that the reader will leave the book with at least three new favorite poems. I think that is a massive understatement. I marked 22 poems as my favorites, and that was only cause i tried not to mark every single one (although i wanted to) since what's the point in that. This was also the first poetry book that has ever made me cry, several times. Now, i cry easily for novels or movies etc, but never has a poem made me actually cry. Several poems also punched me in the gut real hard. You know that feeling? Words have power and Courage is one of the most powerful collection of words i have ever read. But it's not all just pain and tears, there are some pretty funny stuff in it too.

Who should read it?
Everyone. If you are a young feminist woman, like i am, it will fill you with nostalgia, and hope. And a little bit of pain. If you are a teenage girl it will help you get through. And for all the men, it is a window to the minds of women, well, at least some of them. It will help you understand. Like the back of the book says, this book is for anyone who is, or has been, or knows a teenage girl. I'm pretty sure that's all of us.

Few of my favorite lines:

”But safety isn't always safe.You can find one on every gun.” 
I Sing the Body Electric , Especially When My Power's Out by Andrea Gibson 

”When your ghost leaves bleeding fog from beneath his sheet,follow him to the traffic light with your eyes. Keep your feetunderneath you whatever you do. Lock the windows.
Make sure the neighbors see it all.” 
Poem for Repelling Ghosts by Karen Finneyfrock 

”December, you are young,you have not yet learnedhow love can ruin you.You are so naïve,you can't believe,that the very thingyou sleep withcould swallow you.” 
December by Erica Miriam Fabri 

”When scars are new,They shine. Be all the glitterYou need.” 
In Case You Ever Need It, It Is Here by Daphne Gottlieb

Check out the webpage for Courage anthology here.
Write Bloody Publishing.
Mindy Nettifee
Karen Finneyfrock
Rachel McRibben

Amber Tamblyn
Jeanann Verlee


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