“Inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care exists within the hermetically sealed white space pressing in on the poems in Nancy Dunlop’s deeply moving chapbook, Hospital Poems. The impact? No extraneous words, no lines that edge out too far, no stanzas that speak a little too long. Any persona between you and the author is stripped away as well, no games, no antics, no masks, only the author speaking directly from somewhere close to the bone. After reading a few poems, you’ll realize you’ve been holding your breath, the poems are this taut.”
—Suzette Marie Bishop, Jaguar’s Book of the Dead
“Harrowing and comforting, this riveting collection is therapeutic by design. As both an inpatient and outpatient of mental hospitals, poet Nancy Dunlop becomes a keen observer: “What we did, mostly/ was watch each other.” One patient is “sad. Slumped and furtive.” One doctor is “like a job title . . . a perfect/ brochure.” In swift, visceral portraits, the poet gives glimpses of the agitated mind’s carnival as well as the medicated body’s shudder, quiver, spasm. Hospital Poems opens with agitation and an apparition as a newcomer enacts a seemingly endless loop. The book ends with patience: Two souls in a waiting room offer solace by their shared presence. We watch as each body “holds on for dear life.” Readers are entrusted with stories of those who “had already/ suffered, already knew/ how to be compassionate.” Dunlop’s humanity teaches us to build relationships. Her violent concision cultivates a clarity that helps us navigate trauma with empathy.”
-Lori Anderson Moseman, Okay?
Publication Date: August 25, 2022
Some Words Never Sleep comes from the monsoon soul of Indian poet Zinia Mitra. A bilingual author and accomplished academic, Mitra pours her observations and insights into transformative poetry, evoking what it is to be a woman of India, a breathing soul in an ancient wondrous land. Mitra imbues her intense recollections, responses, and emotions in a myriad of carefully juxtaposed poems that fill the reader with a semblance of what it is to walk in her shoes. The gentle sway of her alacrity as a writer, her femininity and strength, the enduring quality of her life thus far, make for spellbinding reading.
Zinia Mitra places her finger on the pulse of modern Indian verse and finds worlds hitherto undiscovered, with a sumptuous range of evocative pieces that transport us into her universe. Artwork by gifted Indian artist Lakshmi Tara adds to this lush, sensuous journey. Some Words Never Sleep is a dream from which you will not wish to readily awaken from, as it unfolds in waves from the mandala of her mind.
“Zinia Mitra’s poems record each lived moment’s limitlessness where everything is, lives and breathes or just ceases to be unnoticed. For her, silences have their own modes of prayer. Time and again; asking is giving, Zinia responds to the very special intimacies including a sapling’s delayed growth through space and time.”
—Jaydeep Sarangi, a fellow contemporary poet and academic anchored in Kolkata/Jhargram.
“Zinia Mitra is a poet, feminist, honourable agent-provocatuer, and game-changer. Each poem in her new collection speaks to the challenges and opportunities of our times. Without denying difficulties, Mitra’s words give us hope. These poems signal the challenges, but also, the way forward. The language is precise, the imagery striking. This book echoes with presence and dreams towards better futures. It must be read.”
—Dr. Amelia Walker, published poet and lecturer in creative writing on Kaurna Land, aka the Adelaide Plains, at the University of South Australia.
Publication Date: August 19, 2021
The captivating poems in Dirty Words aren’t just a feminist journey through women’s issues. These essential poems represent women in the various mundane, necessary, and often unfortunate aspects of life throughout all the stages of a woman’s years, from young girl to mother. Poems about sexual violence, abortion, marriage, and motherhood are just some of the topics unearthed with passion and precision. Lilius brings together words that strike into our hearts and bodies through vivid imagination and eager images. The reader will see that feminism isn’t a dirty word after all, but rather a powerful and vital concept everyone should apply to the everyday, the universal.
“There are forgettable words, there are memorable words and then there are dirty words. By dirty, I have found Sarah Lilius knows every kind of word (and emotion) out there, and is a master articulator, capable of threading together intoxicating poetry like a string of prayer beads. There’s nothing sanitized in her intense soul, it’s unfiltered all the way. If there were a new language, I would expect Lilius to have invented it. Her uncanny wielding of the nature of existence might well be written in blood; it’s permanent, intoxicating, and shocking in its comprehension of us all. Dirty Words is as essential as eating, it doesn’t need to beg, it summons, and you devour.”
-Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock
“In Dirty Words, Sarah Lilius explores the female body in the world as animal, as object, as performance, as victim, as shame, as mother. These powerful poems inhabit a landscape lush with sex and music and bears and blood. They give us a history of girls and women who are “tired as buttons/used over and over,” who are searching for “courage, an ashen/thing” anywhere it might hide: a forest, a circus, a hotel shower, a gravel road, a paneled basement, a kitchen with Hole blasting from the stereo, or on the edge of a cliff with Thelma and Louise. Using both narrative blocks and lyric fragments that call on both pop culture and the natural world, Lilius gives us a speaker who is a survivor, “with nothing inside or everything inside,” arriving at last at the conclusion that “I’m the editor of my own heart.” “
-Donna Vorreyer, To Everything There Is
“The aptly titled Dirty Words is akin to the risqué magazine hidden under your mattress or the diary of the coolest, most badass girl in school, who just so happened to be your mother. That is not to say that this collection centers on youth; it doesn’t. Dirty Words follows its author through a rough and tumble life in which she vehemently questions the ongoing war between men and women while timidly asking you to dance. I found myself swooning with such standout lines as “I hear La Llorona with stars scraping over my head,” and the more whimsical “His beard full of snarls and dead leaves, I wonder if birds nest there.” Equipped with the descriptive powers of Allen Ginsberg, the rawness of Charles Bukowski, and the perspective of Dorothy Parker, Sarah Lilius is sure to enrapture and delight readers.”
-Georgia Park, Softly Glowing Exit Signs
Publication Date: July 26, 2021
Indian poet Devika Mathur’s acute obsession with the use of confessional lyricism lends her writing a sumptuous sensibility. Finding fantasy a way to escape inner trauma, Mathur’s haunting, visual work speaks of imagined journeys and freedoms, through imagistic and richly textured poetry. Mathur’s work challenges the accepted notions of the female, and illustrates the intensity and eloquence of her life. Crimson Skins will make you want to inhabit Mathur’s hypnotic handling of words and sink into her flowered world of blood and joy, pain and ecstasy.
“Devika Mathur is loved and known for her celebration of the abstract and surreal; she plays with words like toys and bites into them like ripe fruit. Everything Mathur yields is original and unique. Even when her voice is so reminiscent of Sylvia Plath, she remains a woman and poet unto herself, through and through. Crimson Skins is a testament to Mathur’s talent; through poetry and prose her brilliance is depicted again and again.”
-Kristiana Reed, Flowers on the Wall
“Devika Mathur knows how to romance words. The poetries here are as insane and wild as they are raw and robust. Her metaphors and the imagery that she attaches to her pieces are unique and flow like music.”
Publication Date: August 21, 2020
Softly Glowing Exit Signs is a photo album of a life lived intensely and painfully, but really lived, and survived. As with any heroine, Georgia Park is who we look for at the end, walking through that fire, not intact, not okay, but absolutely capable of going on. Georgia Park is a woman growing up through these pages, into a survivor, someone you want to know because she’s damn clever, fiendishly smart, and desperately real. She doesn’t try to be cool or sexy, she’s so beyond the usual cults and tropes, her maturity lies in her willingness to tell it as it is.
“The takeaway from reading Softly Glowing Exit Signs, is that the writing is real life, and that overall poetry is real life, and that real life can be measured and unmasked within writing itself. When reading Softly Glowing Exit Signs I felt I was left in a room with Georgia Park, and she is telling me everything with a vulnerability she has not shown many people. It left me needing to read more, or sit and listen because anything else would be unjust.
Conclusively, Softly Glowing Exit Signs feels exactly like spending hours, being up all night, with a person bearing their soul, to which all you can be is silent, and listen, and all you can say is, “Thanks for sharing all of this with me.”
“You will quickly find when you get to the end of the first prose piece in this book, that Park is serving the imagery of her work without warning labels or protective coatings. Raw and visceral are the best words to describe how she delivers her amazing talent in Softly Glowing Exit Signs and it packs a very powerful punch early out of the gate. . .
–Eric Syrdal, Pantheon
“Georgia Park is a natural at what she does, she breathes words out, right into your face. “
–Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock
Publication Date: March 7, 2020
Raw. Fierce. Brave. Brazen. Honest. These words are often (and accurately) used to describe Nicole Lyons’ writing. She has also been called a crazy bitch; the real burn is that Nicole lives so much inside her truths, she’s able to say, “Yes. I am a crazy bitch.” One of the things her fans admire most about Lyons is that she never allows naysayers to hold power over her. Lyons takes what is meant to be derogatory and makes it into a crown. Bipolar Affective Disorder, however, doesn’t genuflect before her; BAD is always seeking to usurp the reign she has over herself. In her fifth collection of poetry, Lyons is more raw, urgent, and intimate than ever before. She grabs the reader by the throat and does not let go until she has said everything she came to say. By the end of this exhilarating journey, we will have seen the things that have made her into a humble woman, and we will respect her all the more.
“In the Lithium Chronicles Volume Two, we see the raw and the real of Nicole Lyons, absolutely nothing is sugarcoated. Her words draw you in with imagery so vivid it feels like you are there in the thick of it with her, in every piece she writes feeling everything she felt, and then she guts you in an amazing way. Nicole Lyons is incredibly talented, and The Lithium Chronicles Volume Two truly moved me.”
– Kayil York, 11:11
“Nicole Lyons makes me fall in love with all the darkest parts of myself that I once despised. She leaves no room for error, enabling me to look right into the heart of myself with the clearest of vision, and to ever so gently swim my way through her words that ultimately lead me back to who I am.”
– Rachel Finch, Conversations With My Higher Self
“There’s a visceral raw energy to Lyons work that speaks of magic, nature, humanity and suffering as well as always, hope and beauty. The gift of grafting both extremes may come from her battle with light and darkness. She is a woman who cannot do things in halves. She must either burn out entirely or not at all. There is no fade in this poet, she’s not middling, if you see the trees alight, it’s she who’s torched the forest.”
– Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock
Publication Date: December 21, 2019
Christine E. Ray’s award-winning debut poetry collection Composition of a Woman has been rereleased by Indie Blu(e) Publishing with 36 stunning new pieces of poetry and prose. Originally released in 2018 and awarded a Bronze Medal from the Readers Favorites Book Awards, Composition has been described as “an extraordinary glimpse into the essence of what it takes to make, and sometimes simultaneously break, a woman as strikingly powerful as she is beautiful.”
“Poet Christine Ray’s first printed collection of poetry Composition of a Woman . . . is a striking, fearless foray into the psyche of womanhood, both highly relatable and intensely personal for female readers and achingly candid and fascinating for male.”
-Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock
“Christine Ray brilliantly split Composition into five thoughtful sections that work together beautifully to deliver the maximum impact of each poem while taking the reader deeper into a stunning journey of the mind, the body, the very soul of this person. In Composition, Christine Ray reveals so much of what we try to hide, and she does so while dancing between ruthlessly beautiful and heartbreakingly painful.”
-Nicole Lyons, The Lithium Chronicles Volumes One and Two
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
All the Beginnings of Everything is a tour du force, one woman carrying the kaleidoscope of her family tree. In many ways, phantasmagoric in its debt to allegory, metaphor, and visceral self-talk. It’s a world outside of time, revealing how everything started and the patterns we never see tattooed beneath our skin, multiplying with every choice. All beg the questions, what is fate, and what is within our control? Can we save ourselves and others from prior outcomes? Will the tapestry of our ancestors dictate our own destiny, irrespective of our effort to be free?
“Austin has, yet again, created a masterpiece. All the Beginnings of Everything is a sensational collection which spans what feels like a lifetime. Separated into seven parts, Austin explores more in this collection than I feel she ever has done before, without sacrificing her trademark style. Her words remain sharp, raw and honest.”
-Kristiana Reed, Flowers on the Wall
“There’s something infinitely unpredictable and erotic about an unapologetic, hot-under-the-collar female writer who takes no prisoners; “I’ve defiled my own name.” (Slick).
Austin knows how much spice to add and swims between the blatantly sensual to the darkest coves, and then out into the light where she exposes her truths. Her voice doesn’t remain the same, there’s obvious influences, but she’s all things, the female Bukowski, the smart Joan Didion, then Tennyson takes over and gets epic. It never gets staid. Austin is a writer you want to befriend and talk to all night long over many drinks. You feel you’d find the riddle to the universe if you survived it.”
-Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock
Publication Date: July 26, 2019
Indie Blu(e) Publishing was honored to republish the Rachel Finch’s stunning debut book of poetry A Sparrow Stirs its Wings. Finch, the author of Conversations With My Higher Self, is the powerhouse behind the Bruised But Not Broken community on Facebook, which provides support and healing for trauma survivors. She is a symbol of hope and light throughout the world.
“Every now and then, when the world seems to be rocked in chaos and people are screaming without listening – vile words and cries for help climbing on top of and over each other – a single voice stands out, and that voice is pure in its truth and stunning in its wisdom. Rachel Finch, and her debut book, A Sparrow Stirs its Wings, is that voice right now. Turning her heartbreaking abuse into heart-wrenching prose, Finch writes her truth and gives her strength to every unnamed victim turned survivor.”
-Nicole Lyons, The Lithium Chronicle: Volume One and Two
“A mark of a great poet is the ability to make emotional connection with their audience, and Rachel Finch does exactly that.”
Faye K. Brown, Beautifully Damaged Things
Publication Date: June 3, 2019
British poet Rachel Finch is the powerhouse behind the Bruised But Not Broken community on Facebook, which provides support and healing for trauma survivors. She is a symbol of hope and light throughout the world. She returns a year after the release of her 5-star debut A Sparrow Stirs its Wings with her second book, Conversations With My Higher Self.
Conversations With My Higher Self recounts Finch’s personal experience with a near death, out-of-body life-changing event during the delivery of her eldest daughter. Written in beautiful and mesmerizing verse, Conversations With My Higher Self is a provocative book. Honest, spiritual, and cathartic, Finch gives us a tantalizing glimpse of what is on the other side- transformation, light and love.
“This book is a book like none you’ve read before and that alone is a powerful testament to Finch’s artistic brilliance. She executes her near-death and resurrection experiences in such a way as to bring the reader with her to this incredible other-world. As Finch evolves, I felt myself evolving. “She is not quiet, the evolving is an unfolding and I am origami in the wind.” CWMHS has the power to change you, the reader, to change your mindset and see yourself and your life in an entirely different light. This book is a must-have for all lovers of poetry and anyone who has had or who has known someone with a near-death and out-of-body experience.”
-Melody Lee, author of Moon Gypsy, and Season of the Sorceress
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
ISBN-13 : 978-1732800052
Bestselling Canadian poet Nicole Lyons weaves together beloved pieces from her previous volumes Hush, I Am a World of Uncertainties Disguised as a Girl, and Blossom and Bone with new writing into powerful documentation of her journey as a writer. Her poetry and prose are wholly relatable, taking us deep inside the heart, and the human condition. Unafraid to bare her soul, she shares her struggles skillfully crafted with every line, giving the reader permission to take a glimpse into their own. Her readers are sensitive and smart, and Lyons understands this. JUST YOU WAIT says it all, “Be patient, pretty little tragic one, the real suffering has not yet begun.”
“Nicole Lyons is one of the most exciting, vital poets of our generation. The Lithium Chronicles is her most ambitious and brazen work to date, and she delivers above and beyond. Nicole’s ability to delve deep into the human psyche, unapologetic, is her gift to the world. Penning a full range of raw, honest, rage and brutal emotion in six lines is her mastery and magic.”
-Jacqueline Cioffa, The Red Bench
“Nicole writes with desire and hunger, and these passionate qualities show through every word she writes. Rainbow Rowell once wrote, “She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” That is how I feel about The Lithium Chronicles. It is art, a collection of writing that makes you feel deeply and also makes you feel understood on a level that is not always there in society or our day-to-day lives.”
-Allie Burke, Paper Souls
Publication Date: April 3, 2019
Bestselling poet Melody Lee brings us her third book, Season of the Sorceress. The collection is broken down into four sections: Fireflies, Wildflower Moon, Black Widow and Rebirth. Lee paints personal experiences and tragedies elegantly into poetry and prose: life lessons of hope, empowerment, enlightenment. She brings the reader with her on her journey of enlightenment and rebirth. Lee has a magical way of connecting her reader to her stories, her poetry, her heart. She begins with self-reflection, by takings us back to her childhood, tapping into memories and base emotions. Her words flow like water from a sacred fountain. Lee writes about love—agape, eros, philia— being broken by it, growing and finding enormous strength from it. “Without love we are empty vessels, a mass of nothingness. There is no greater power than love, even when it burns us and hurts like hell. Always there is something divine that emanates from love.” She scatters ashes of romance in each chapter, interlaced with mystical and witchy themes. And true to her free spirit, you feel the gypsy heartbeat pulsing throughout the book.
“Reading Season of the Sorceress brought me heart-deep into the kind of poetry and prose that wakes us up and creates space within the soul. Melody’s work reveals the beauty of words in a deep, earthy way. My witch’s heart was captured without apology. Each story, each poem took me further into mystical imagination. There is integrity and passion on each page, but more than that, there is raw freedom of expression, which makes for a truly memorable book. If words are magic, then Melody knows how to cast a spell. The rhythm of the seasons, the mystery of the elements, the truth of vulnerability, and the strength of memories collide between the pages. Season of the Sorceress inspired me and left me thinking of possibility; and that is what great art is all about. Wildly recommended.”
– Monika Carless, The Dark Pool Trilogy
Publication Date: February 27, 2019
John Biscello is not simply a novelist and poet, but an alchemist of verses. In Arclight, Biscello captains a voyage that transcends the physical world with graceful introspection, and philosophical wonder. His reflective nature invites us to ponder our own life experiences and ideals. Arclight is a true tribute to the human heart. “I always saw the humanity behind his thick-lidded eyes, the small child, begging for a banquet of golden crumbs to appease the motherache churning in his heart and stomach. A thousand lions pitted against a studded chain smoking beer gutted gladiator, I saw that too, he, the lions, the gladiator, the arena, the smoke and booze, all of it…” from, ‘I See Myself’.
“Biscello has that very rare quality of being a natural born poet. His use of words is so sublime and striking, it has the power to cast into shade, most other poets. Such is his radiance, I find the consideration of light for the subject matter of this book to be very apropos. Biscello understands words and language, his mind is vast and deep and he is able to mine the very depths and bring to the surface, language that takes your breath away. It has been a very long time since I have sat quietly entranced by a poet. . . I found myself entranced by his capture and the vivid landscapes of his mind. The turn of prose and poetry interspersed with a sense that this is his only true language, took my breath away and left me reeling with envy and respect for someone so nimble at playing poetry’s pipe. . . Biscello is a bard of language and emotion, and it would not be premature to pronounce him among the finest living male poets of his day.”
– Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock
Publication Date: February 10, 2019
Imagine that The Myths of Girlhood is a tapestry; feel the varying textures, and observe the movement of its patterns. In your hands, you hold the fibers of Christine E. Ray. For this book is much more than an arrangement of words. Myths is an experience—an exploration of madness and strength of will, illogic and rationality, all of which coexist inside a woman who is unafraid to let her soul speak. We were introduced to her exquisite truth-telling in Composition of a Woman. Myths of Girlhood is not a mere continuation, but a glass-breaking roar.
“The Myths of Girlhood by Christine E. Ray is a powerful collection of poems and Christine’s voice is raw and almost primeval at times. I loved reading these poems and could actually feel the surge of energy that bounces off the pages. These are poems that any human being would identify with, but especially women who have gone through struggles and trying times, whether it is sexual assault, domestic violence, mental health issues such as depression, addiction, or even simply a lack of equal freedom and opportunities in what still is predominantly a male-dominated patriarchal world. This is the voice of millions that Christine expresses and echoes through these poems. I liked almost all of the poems but some that stood out for me were Where My Ghosts Come Out to Play, Unrepentant, Survivor’s Guilt, Backside of the Night, Young Wolf, Blue Moon, Magical Memory, and more. This is a poetry collection that I would highly recommend.”
-Gisela Dixon, Readers’ Favorites
Publication Date: January 23, 2019