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.

SUBMISSIONS CLOSE TODAY FOR THIS IS WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE. POETRY BY WOMEN SMITTEN WITH WOMEN! — June 30, 2019

SUBMISSIONS CLOSE TODAY FOR THIS IS WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE. POETRY BY WOMEN SMITTEN WITH WOMEN!

65483919_461391917983511_2171377491665485824_n

Indie Blu(e) Publishing will be accepting submissions of poetry and art for This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry by Women Smitten with Women until midnight tonight Sunday, June 30th. This Anthology will celebrate love, attachments, and attraction between women.

  • The maximum number of pieces for submission per writer/artist is FIVE (5).
  • Writing can be uploaded as a Word or PDF attachment. If you are submitting a graphic poetry meme, the meme must be accompanied by the text in Word or PDF version.
  • Artwork submitted for the Anthology must be able to be reproduced clearly in black and white.
  • You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider non- acceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.
  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Submissions will be accepted until midnight today (June 30th) through Submittable. There is no charge for submission.

This is a project fueled by passion, not profit. Indie Blu(e) Publishing will only charge a few dollars above the publishing cost to keep the Anthology as affordable as possible.

All contributors will receive a PDF copy of the book.

Questions? Contact Candice at candicedaquin@gmail.com.

Final Call For Submissions: This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry By Women Smitten with Women — June 19, 2019

Final Call For Submissions: This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry By Women Smitten with Women

This is What Love Looks Like 4

Indie Blu(e) Publishing will be accepting submissions of poetry and art for This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry by Women Smitten with Women until midnight on Sunday, June 30th. This Anthology will celebrate love, attachments, and attraction between women.

  • The maximum number of pieces for submission per writer/artist is FIVE (5).
  • Writing can be uploaded as a Word or PDF attachment. If you are submitting a graphic poetry meme, the meme must be accompanied by the text in Word or PDF version.
  • Artwork submitted for the Anthology must be able to be reproduced clearly in black and white.
  • You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider non- acceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.
  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2019 through Submittable. There is no charge for submission.

This is a project fueled by passion, not profit. Indie Blu(e) Publishing will only charge a few dollars above the publishing cost to keep the Anthology as affordable as possible.

All contributors will receive a PDF copy of the book.

Questions? Contact Candice at candicedaquin@gmail.com.

Call For Submissions: This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry By Women Smitten with Women — May 18, 2019

Call For Submissions: This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry By Women Smitten with Women

Indie Blu(e) Publishing is currently accepting submissions of poetry and art for This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry by Women Smitten with Women. This Anthology will celebrate love, attachments, and attraction between women.

  • The maximum number of pieces for submission per writer/artist is FIVE (5).
  • Writing can be uploaded as a Word or PDF attachment. If you are submitting a graphic poetry meme, the meme must be accompanied by the text in Word or PDF version.
  • Artwork submitted for the Anthology must be able to be reproduced clearly in black and white.
  • You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider non- acceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.
  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2019 through Submittable. There is no charge for submission.

This is a project fueled by passion, not profit. Indie Blu(e) Publishing will only charge a few dollars above the publishing cost to keep the Anthology as affordable as possible.

All contributors will receive a PDF copy of the book.

Questions? Contact Candice at candicedaquin@gmail.com.

Coming Fall 2019 from Indie Blu(e) Publishing — April 19, 2019