Beulah Maud Devaney

Poetry Review: Birds, Heartbreak, Cartoons and Killer Plants


I’ve started reading poetry again! Here are some new releases that caught my eye this month.


Lend Me Your Wings by Lillo Way

The latest collection by Pushcart Prize winner Lillo Way is divided into five parts, each loosely dealing with the subject of flight. Lend Me Your Wings covers a lot of ground and, naturally, there’s something for practically every kind of poetry reader. Unfortunately the lack of sign-posting throughout the collection and Way’s free verse style make it a confusing, occasionally monotonous reading experience. If you’re a fan of Rupi Kaur and Emily Dickinson you’ll probably enjoy this. If you’re not, I recommend giving Lend Me Your Wings a miss.

This collection will be published on 25th May 2021 by Shanti Arts Publishing. Unfortunately I can’t find a pre-order link that isn’t Amazon.


Vulnerable AF by Tarriona Ball

To watch Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s Tiny Desk Concert is to love her. This joyous, stylish and incredibly talented woman exudes strong Lizzo energy, leaving the viewer grinning like a fool. Vulnerable AF is Tank’s debut poetry collection and she manages to side-step many of the pitfalls slam poets encounter when moving into the written word. The collection deals with the ending of a toxic relationship and Tank’s energy and verbal dexterity shine through every poem. Yet she also showcases a sense of whimsy that doesn’t always appear in her live performances. It’s an impressive effort and I’m already eagerly anticipating her next collection.

This collection will be published on 8th June by Andrews McMeel Publishing


Dear Azula, I Have a Crush on Danny Phantom by Azura Tyabji and Jackson Neal

A collection of poems about the way Gen Z uses cartoons to explore identity and sexuality; Dear Azula is as sparky, vibrant and unexpectedly deep as the animations that inspired it. Featuring coming-of-age stories like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kim Possible, ShrekThe Emperor’s New Groove and The Incredibles, this is a collection by and for Gen Z that’s still accessible for everyone. Fiona Chose to be an Ogre and Yzma Dresses for the Llama Funeral are standouts, but every poem is enjoyable and it’s a noticeably unified collection from two such distinctive voices.

This collection will be published on 22nd June 2021 by Button Poetry


Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota: Poems by Amelia Gorman

An ecological disaster has thrown the world into chaos. As invasive flora and fauna encroach upon the locals, Amelia Gorman’s narrator documents the collapse of civilization. The imagery is lush, the ideas clever and executed well, poems such as Curly-leaf Pondweed and Queen Anne’s Lace are deliciously creepy. Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota: Poems is a natural fit with the novels of Margaret Atwood and Emily St. John Mandel, although the reader will be left wishing each poem was a novel in it’s own right.

This collection will be published on 6th September by Interstellar Flight Press

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