About Books #57: [Dis]Connected

As some of you may know, I’ve been trying to read more poetry this year. I’ve mentioned that a couple of times already – it’s part of why I read Amanda Lovelace’s first two poetry collections. So when I heard that she and other poets would be participating in a sort of anthology of poetry and short stories, all about being [dis]connected? I just knew this was something I had to read.

I was offered an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.

The book

Humanity exists in a hyper connected world, where our closest friends, loves and enemies lie but a keyboard stroke away. Few know this better than the poets who have risen to the top of their trade by sharing their emotion, opinion and art with millions of fans.

Combining the poetic forces of some of today’s most popular and confessional poets, this book presents poems and short stories about connection wrapped up in a most unique exercise in creative writing. Follow along as your favorite poets connect with each other; offering their poetry to the next poet who tells a story based on the concept presented to them. With poetry, stories and art, [Dis]Connected is a mixed media presentation of connection and collaboration.

The opinion

Now, the set up of this collection is described in the introduction as stemming from:

What would happen if this poetry craze was just a fad. What the next “thing” was. How many of these poets knew each other. How supportive they were of each other against those who think their craft is instagrammable garbage.”

The editor goes on:

How contemporary poetry is a most wonderful form of art that is bringing together people from all over the world

Both of those, for me at least, are very strong “selling points”. It is true that, these days, poetry seems to be going through something of a revival. The idea that you can have something from all these poets in just one book? It’s basically like the perfect way to expand your field of poetry to read.

Then, of course, there’s the theme of the collection: being [dis]connected. I could ramble on now about how, in this time of ultra-connectivity, so many people feel so terribly alone and disconnected. I don’t have to, though, those are the facts of the world, at this point.

What does need to be mentioned, is that this collection highlights just how disconnected people often truly are. From goddesses on earth, to mythical creatures to the #metoo movement… In so many ways, this collections highlights not only that we are often disconnected, but also the many ways in which we can be connected.

I’ve grown to see this world as a home, the internet as our electricity, and us as appliances connected in different areas, achieving different things.

Now, of course, this isn’t *just* a poetry collection. Each poet offered three poems, and one of the other poets than chose one of these to write a short story. Now, 100% personal opinion? I think Cyrus Parker’s short story was the most “shocking” (or shaking, because I basically was, when I was reading it). Trista Mateer’s short story was the most beautiful, while I Nikita Gill’s was the most magical. Although, it does have a strong competitor in Amanda Lovelace’s for that title. Honestly, that might just be what explains this best: I cannnot choose a favorite. Each of the short stories has such a completely different tone, setting, theme and yet is connected through that notion of disconnection… Any favorite I choose would be replaced 5 minutes later for a completely different reason.

Tweet: “Each of the short stories is connected through that notion of disconnection” https://bit.ly/2x6Cl8r via @SaarTalks

All of them left me putting the collection away, and needing a moment to recover.

The rating: 4/5

It is incredibly hard to “rate” poetry. As I have now discovered – the same can be said for short stories. When you consider that poetry is meant to “make you feel something”, however, I can only confirm that this collection absolutely succeeded at that. The short stories were both so easy to read and so hard to dismiss, so if that feels like something you could enjoy? Definitely give this one a read! (Goodreads)

-Saar