If you know me, you know I love short books, especially if they’re published by small, independent presses. There was a zine & print fair in Norwich a while back, and I couldn’t resist picking up some things – poetry collections, short stories, and even a graphic novel!
Let’s talk poetry first, because I picked up some really exciting collections! The first one is called Fierce Light and includes poems by Yrsa Daley Ward, Jackie Kay, Bill Manhire, Paul Muldoon, and Daljit Nagra. The poems commemorate the centenary anniversary of the Battle of Somme, so it should be an interesting read! I also can’t shake the feeling that I’ve heard of Paul Muldoon before, but I’m too stubborn to actually look him up. Hmmm. The collection was published by Gatehouse Press, who also created the wonderful Kumkum Malhotra, which I reviewed recently (you can read my review here).
Another collection I picked up by Gatehouse Press is If I Talked Everything My Eyes Saw by Natacha Bryan. The blurb doesn’t say much about the content, but apparently Natacha grew up in London with her Jamaican grandparents. I’ve started picking up more diverse reads recently, so I thought I should do the same with poetry! It’s a really short collection, so I should be able to read it soon.
Then I picked up two collections by Platypus Press. Those caught my eye mainly because of how stunning the covers are. The collection are Howling at the Moon by Darshana Suresh, and Ghost Still Walking by Do Nguyen Mai. I’m really excited about the former because it mentions Atlas in the blurb, which makes me hope for some Greek mythology.
Tell me, Atlas.
What is heavier:
the world or its people’s hearts?
The latter collection is about Vietnam and its struggle to preserve its traditional way of life. I’m super pumped to read both!
I also picked up issue #4 of the Octarine poetry magazine. I bought issue #3 a while ago and still haven’t got around to reading it unfortunately, but the newest issue was released to celebrate Pride Month so it’s all about LGBT+ stuff. It sounded too good to ignore, so I had to buy it. (Sorry for the bad quality of the photo, I couldn’t find the cover online and had to improvise with really terrible lighting!)
The two short stories that I bought were published by Gatehouse Press, like Kumkum Malhotra and the first two poetry collections I mentioned. Like I said in my review of Kumkum Malhotra, it’s part of a series of short stories, all published individually, and these two are the others that are out so far. The second one in the series is And the Years Rolled by at an Alarming Rate by Nicola Daly, and the third one is Lantern Evening by Amanthi Harris. All these stories, including Kumkum Malhotra, are about women whose lives change after some sort of accident. If they’re even half as good as Kumkum Malhotra, I will be more than happy, because it was absolutely amazing!
And finally, I bought the first issue in a series of comics called Dead Girls. The first issue is called Born to Run, and apparently the series is about teen girls who turn into living dolls because of some sort of virus. Maybe. I don’t know, it sounds weird and fun and I’m excited to read it. I’ve never actually read a comic or graphic novel before, so this will be interesting!
Have you guys picked up any exciting books recently? Do you usually read poetry, short stories, and graphic novels, or are they a bit foreign to you? Do you find them intimidating? And, of course, let me know if you’ve read any of the things mentioned!
‘Till next time and happy reading!