Now Available for Kindle: Heavy Mental by Kindra M. Austin — March 13, 2020
Book Release: The Lithium Chronicles Volume 2 by Nicole Lyons — December 22, 2019
Mariah Voutilainen reviews Smitten, edited by Candice Louisa Daquin — October 1, 2019

Mariah Voutilainen reviews Smitten, edited by Candice Louisa Daquin

SMITTEN UPDATED 7.23

Indie Blu(e)’s Smitten should be your newest gift of poetry

By Mariah Voutilainen

Before I begin to review Smitten, a book that lays bare and re-frames (in a very personal manner) the love that women have for women, I must be equally open.  As I formed my thoughts, I realized that I was (and am) extremely nervous about how to respond to these poems from my own heterosexual, cis female lens.  I felt this because I am a woman of color, one who feels the simmering heat of frustration when those who cannot ever know my experience want to take a stab at relating to it.  What I can say is the following:  While Smitten is a book about women who love women (from every-which perspective), of course, it is about love.  And I can relate to love.  I can understand first love, last love, forbidden love, unrequited love, the love of someone lost, the love of someone found.  The love of someone who saves.

But in truth, even as a woman of color married to a white man, I have not experienced love that is criticized or fetishized by outsiders, that is closeted by well (and not-so-well) meaning family.  I will never feel the excruciating pain of those who are beat down because of whom or how they love.  So, as I opened up my advance copy of Smitten, it was with delicate hands, an open and reverent heart—because that is how I wish my own poetry to be read.

Over a hundred poems about women, by women.  Can I say how exhilarating it is to have read so many at one go?  I happily recognized quite a few of the poets—hailing from an independent poetry network often curated by Indie Blu(e) Publishing:  Tara Caribou, Candice Louisa Daquin, Christine E. Ray, Kindra M. Austin and Georgia Park, to name a few.  But there was a mélange of poets new to me, whose unique voices were employed in a variety of styles from musical to prose to concrete poetry.  Among my favorites were Paula Jellis’ “I want a woman with a big bouffant,” Katherine DeGilio’s “Sunburned Shoulders,” Nick Kay’s “The Value of a Rusty Coin,” Jessica Jacobs’ “Out of the Windfields,” and Susan M. Conway’s “Letters to my Love.”

Would that I could list every single poem (my list is long), as they touched my sensibilities in different ways.  Some entreat us to dance to an inaudible tune; others confide to us the secrets of nerve-wracked first kisses; they relate the early-in-the-morning and late-at-night mundanities of love. But we are also invited to the troubled history of these loves in poems such as “Love is Our Theory” (Sean Heather K. McGraw), “Letter from Lock Up to the NYPD, June 1969, Christopher Street” (Melissa Fadul) and “You Don’t Deserve to Read About My Life” (Georgia Park).  These such poems are the ones that will be hardest to bear, but among the most important to read.

This is a book that should be gifted.  In spite of its implied audience, Smitten is not just for women who adore women.  It is for those whose hearts flutter and skin goosebumps at romance, who know the flight of butterflies in their stomachs and who long for the feeling of home in another’s heart.

 

SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like: Poetry by Women for Women an Anthology is now available on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions.   Request it at your local/international bookstores.


Mariah Voutilainen writes poetry and prose about all manner of things at www.reimaginingthemundane.wordpress.com.

Kristiana Reed Reviews All the Beginnings of Everything by Kindra M. Austin — July 31, 2019

Kristiana Reed Reviews All the Beginnings of Everything by Kindra M. Austin

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.

Part one is succinct, fervent and reveals how our childhoods fall into our adult years, no matter how hard we try to leave the past in the past. This is followed by parts two and three: Austin’s ode to self and survival. She is the lioness empowered by her dismissal of those who tried to break her. She will not give thanks; she is the reason she is here today and she will continue to create her own light and legacy.

For me, part four was a departure for Austin. Although she explores grief as masterfully as she did in Constant Muses and TWELVE, here Austin also embraces hope. It is an honest account of how heartache demolished the walls of her heart in order to help rebuild them, stronger than before. This balance of loss and love is repeated in parts five and six as we journey through hurt, lust, unrequited love and goodbyes to find real love; love which feels like a Heaven-sent gift and the easiest thing in the world.

Finally, fittingly, part seven delivers the end of this collection and takes us back to the beginning. This part is Austin through and through; it holds some of the best pieces I believe she has ever written. The title poem is quite simply, a masterpiece.

With each new release, Austin’s craft continues to blossom and out-do what came before. I cannot describe her words and work in any other way than magic. Not because her words appear as if by magic but because she wields a power many would struggle to harness. She is true; and for that, in this day and age, she is otherworldly.

All the Beginnings of Everything is now available for purchase

UK

US


I write about love, lust, struggle, survival, fickle things, dreams and the stars. And anything in between.  You can read more of my writing at My Screaming Twenties

I released my debut collection of poetry and prose in May 2019, Between the Trees which is available to buy, below. I am currently working on my second collection.

Between the Trees:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Indie Blu(e) Publishing Announces the Release of All the Beginnings of Everything by Kindra M. Austin. — July 27, 2019

Indie Blu(e) Publishing Announces the Release of All the Beginnings of Everything by Kindra M. Austin.

 

received_2105410302948829

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?

Now available on Amazon.com