ORIGINAL BOOK REVIEW: “Wailing Winds” by Patrick Scott

Wailing Winds by Patrick Scott

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION*:

This is a deep and soulful description of emotions, feelings, and inspirational moments in the life of one. These are memorable memories scripted in poetic form that shaped a life.

REVIEW:

I … am a terrible poet. And because I’m a terrible poet, my natural instinct is to steer well clear of it. That said, I have been extremely lucky in the poetry that has managed to squeak in through the cracks and climb my seemingly endless TBR pile, all the way to the top where they pop into my hands. Patrick Scott’s Wailing Wind is one of those few collections, and I’m glad for it.

There is a certain difficulty to reviewing poetry, however, that doesn’t crop up as often in narrative fiction and nonfiction: to read poetry is to encounter another mind, and to spend some time getting to know it. Wailing Winds is definitely a collection that abides by this general statement. Each of its poems is a testament to Scott’s lives–his life as lived in the world we all know, and his rich internal life as described and demonstrated by each poem included in its pages. I’ve been friends and family with far to many poets to fall into the trap of pretending that there is any easy way to separate “literary criticism” from a criticism of how the poet chooses to view and express their own lives, so I am going to try very hard here to describe the book without delivering any sort of rating or verdict. Poetry is personal.

There are 27 poems, beginning with “Poor Child” and concluding with the titular “Wailing Winds.” The penultimate poem, “In My Lifetime” indicates the overall arc of the book even without reading that closing poem (though I certainly encourage you to do so), from the instinctive reactions of childhood through the more informed–though still sometimes imperfect–maturity of adulthood. And those winds that wail? They are, as that final poem states, “feelings out and feelings in,” part of a constant cycle through which Scott has moved, is moving, and will continue to move.

After all, that’s part of the magic of poetry, isn’t it? Poetry holds the past, present, and future as one continuous whole, a spinning tangled mass of evergreen feelings. Scott opts not to annotate or endnote his poems, leaving the interpretation entirely up to his readers. He comments on neither individual poems or the collection as a whole; the collection skips past other potential inclusions, such as a preface or introduction, end notes, further reading, acknowledgements, or conclusion. Many artists use these sections in an attempt to guide readers to interpret poems the way that they, the authors, intended. But Scott chooses a different path. Do his poems translate to direct reflections on his life as literally lived, and make an accurate history as well as an historic artifact? Or do they arrive on the page slantwise, sliding in diagonally as reflections on possible lives both lived and un-lived, lives from which Scott is only separated by the choices he made? Are they strictly metaphorical in nature, forming a sort of spiritual or cultural commentary upon many more lives than his own? Again, here comes poetry, muddling all options together until it is all three simultaneously.

All that remains is the poetry.

Well, the poetry and a contents page, the copyright information, and cover image. This is an incredibly brave choice, and many of Patrick Scott’s poems are themselves brave choices, either records or reflections on personal decisions both good and bad, but always real in a way that echoes compellingly in a way that sticks with me, even after I’ve finished the last word.

IN SUMMARY:

In a collection of 27 unique and yet interrelated poems chronicling life and loves in all their various stages, Southern veteran, photojournalist, and poet Patrick Scott’s Wailing Winds is both compelling and interesting, and indeed well worth a perusal by those curious enough to dig through to the heart of questions like “What makes a life a life?” and “What gives life its meaning?” Our mistakes, sometimes, hints Scott, but just as often our good choices and our loves lost and gained, our faith in others.

WHERE TO BUY?

You can find Wailing Winds by Patrick Scott wherever good books are sold, including Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. You can also find out more about it on the book’s Outskirts Press listing.

WHAT NEXT?

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

* Courtesy of Outskirts Press book listing.

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ABOUT KENDRA M.: With nine years in library service, six years of working within the self-publishing world, as well as extensive experience in creative writing, freelance online content creation, and podcast editing, Kendra seeks to amplify the voices of those who need and deserve most to be heard.

Tuesday Book Review: “Five O’Clock”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

five o'clock Joe Montaño III

writer's digest 25th annual self published book awards

Honorable Mention: Poetry Category

Five O’Clock

by Joe Montaño III

ISBN: 9781478771753

Synopsis*:

“singer, fruit picker, behind his
father, walking music thru desert sunrise.”

Conjured in crude images of thenatural world, the poetry of Joe Montaño III connects the reader to the great music,art, film & literature created before us and to his own cultural past. Hiswords strive to illuminate the breadth of human fallacy, compelling compassionatesouls to speak with punk rock conviction through the filter of profoundabstraction.

From Picasso to Buster Keaton tothe New York Dolls, a source exists within the greatest and most flawed of ourinspirations. From here, and from the many places of travel and childhood home,Joe Montaño pieces together his own culture, while finding a place within hisown elusive Hispanic heritage. Ever the expositor, he persists in his searchfor connection, as well as a place to push off of.

“There oughta-be-a
burn down the town anthem stuttered
by the tongues of youth, those failures
waiting for sunrise so to daydream.”

The poet seeks to create Universalwork that not only endures, but moves and travels with the reader. JoeMontaño’s words reflect a personal & disquieting truth of humanity insurrealistic detail. To identify with these poems is to walk a brambled path -conceding ego, confessing fault – and also made curiously pleased by thethought of our own inherent golden core.

“The sun has called him a murderer, and
punishes his skin and eyes…taking his god away
while shading the poet, the dandy rebel, and
the lovers like naked gypsies
bathing in the light.”

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

If there is any type of poetry I admire the most it would be the abstract and surreal type of poetry.
Likewise Joe Moantano’s first book is packed from cover to cover with both of those, plus poems of humor, stories of his culture and tradition, plus some of his outlooks on life and attitude. It is difficult to pick out a favorite poem out of this book, so instead I’ll just say that “blue#1&2” really stood out. Overall it’s a good book to read over time and thought, and re-read after that. As a person I think of Joe as one of those kinds of enigmatic types who is full of generosity and a passion for poetry. (Although the latter of which may be misunderstood by some folks)

– reviewed on Amazon by Gene Miller

Another Review

Joe Montano III is a thinking man’s poet. No slam poet pop culture fluff here. Read his poetry aloud to appreciate its rhythm and meaning. Hearing Joe’s poetry always inspires me to want to write more myself.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Amazon Customer

 

Author Website

http://artofjoemontanoiii.yolasite.com/

 


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Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

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Saturday Book Review: “Soulful Transitions”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Goodreads reviewer Charles:

soulful transitions by lorena munoz

Soulful Transitions

by Lorena Muñoz

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 978-1478759492

Synopsis:

Soulful Transitions is a collection of poems that chronicles one woman’s pilgrimage from pain and heartache to healing. Each expressive poem offers a glimpse into a soul struggling with various life lessons, and each is dated to document the evolution of growth and recovery. Full of faith and hope, Soulful Transitions offers reassurance that we, too, can survive the dark nights of our soul-and face the morning light stronger and wiser.

Critique:

This collection of poems consists largely of emotional anguish, describing what appears to be a love affair that has gone wrong. There is discussion of betrayal, addiction to him, perpetual deceit and other related aspects of break-ups. The prose appears stiff in the sense that there is not a smooth flow, it generally has the feeling of being forced. After a point, the reader hopes for a change of subject and a little more of a light-hearted manner.

There is a transition to a bit more of a positive tone later in the book, but it is not a great change. This is a book that one does not read in order to make an emotional change from the down to the up. For it never really gets that far up.

If you are someone that enjoys reading prose that is generally dark and brooding, then you might like this book. However, if you prefer the light and positive, then you will not find this book one that will bring the up crease of a smile to your face.

reviewed by Charles on Goodreads ]

Here’s what other reviewers are saying:

This book is amazing.
Such an inspirational read.
From all the ups and downs described in this book, the words are extremely touching.
The cover is also beautiful. Makes my book collection look extra pretty.
Definitely recommend this book to everyone.

– Amazon Reviewer Sakura22

Beautiful and inspiring! A brave journey and reminder that when we must be unafraid to examine our thoughts and emotions if we want to understand, learn and grow.

– Amazon reviewer Meghan Grosso

An awesome read. Truly brings you into the author’s world and illuminates pathways of promise and self-fulfillment.

– Amazon reviewer Michael Freeman

I felt every word and emotion spilled onto this book. The chronological form of how it was written was almost that of a re-birth or a metamorphosis. A must read for those in need of a soul filled similarity.

– Amazon Reviewer Amazon Customer


saturday self-published book review

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Conversations: 4/29/2016

THE MUSIC OF WORDS part FIVE

Well, here we are—at the point where you’ve decided I will not talk about the REAL elements of poetry: forms, genre and techniques. I’m not a fan of suggesting that poets lock themselves into specific formulas. However, I do see the value of practicing these forms (within their accepted genres) to increase an individual’s personal writing voice and form. Here are brief definitions of some of the forms utilized today:

poetry

  • Ghazal: common in poetry from Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Persian, Turkish and Urdu cultures this form has from 5-15 rhyming couplets that share a refrain at the end of the second line. Each line is identical in meter.

 

  • Haiku: a very popular form of unrhymed verse containing three sections in a structured 5-7-5 pattern. This form originated in Japanese poetry and often contains a “cutting or seasoned word” at the end of the poem.
  • Ode: This form comes from ancient Greek culture, having three parts: a strophe, an antistrophe and an epode. The strophe and antistrophe often offer conflicting perspectives and the epode looks at both intending to offer a clearer perspective. Odes were often sung as creative minds attempted to influence peoples of their time.
  • Shi: the main type of classical Chinese poetry with variations of folk song, old style, and modern style each with rhyming elements. They are most often considered folk ballad poetry and delivered in song.
  • Sonnet: This is the most commonly known form of poetry in modern times. It is a “set-rhyme” containing exactly fourteen lines with a logical structure. The first four lines introduce the topic, the second four elaborates and the third puts forth a perceived problem (usually a couplet or two lines) giving a twist to the logic-lines. The very distinct rhyme pattern is: a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-gg.
  • Tanka: widely used in today’s Japanese poetry, this form is unrhymed with five sections totaling 31 “units” structured in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern with a shift in tone and subject between the first three lines and the last two.
  • Villanelle: This form of poetry could almost be called an American/English form because of its popularity with poets such as Dylan Thomas. It contains nineteen lines made up of five triplets with a closing quatrain. There are two refrains (attractive as a musical form), concluding with two refrains.

 

 

It is my hope that reading these short definitions will not discourage “the poet within” you. If you’re just entering the world of poetry, remember that these forms can be bent a little by the author to be useful in multiple genres that look for the unusual. These genres include: Elegy, Epic and Dramatic poetry; Light verse and Lyric verse; Narrative, Fable and Satirical poetry; Prose and Speculative poetry.

Each of these forms and genres will also contain the basic elements of writing skills such as: rhythm, meter, metrical patters, alliteration, rhyme and rhyming schemes—and—the visual form of lines and stanzas. It is up to the poet/author to intrigue reader/editors and leave them demanding MORE of your work. Let your light shine and poetry fans will snap up all your published works! ⚓︎

RoyaleneABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

In Your Corner : Three Ways to Celebrate YOUR Poetry This National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!  This poses an interesting challenge for those among us who are poets: while the rest of the world is celebrating the works of poets they admire, writers of poetry must themselves rise to the challenge of becoming the wordsmiths they wish to be.  This challenge is not perhaps specific to April––but it is pushed to the front burner, so to speak.

So what is a poet to do in a month set aside for celebrating poets and what they do?

I have three suggestions:

1. Set yourself a writing challenge.

The first thing to do, as a person dedicated to a specific craft and art form, is to continue working to improve your skill set.  And as my creative writing instructor in college used to say, “You will never be so good at this that you can afford to stop practicing.”  (Which might explain why she gave me her copy of Baking Illustrated, now that I come to think of it.)  Regardless, I’m grateful to her for never letting up, never allowing me to relax into the assumption that I’d learned all I was going to learn and raised the bar as high as it would go.  (I’m also grateful because she introduced me to loose-leaf lapsang souchong tea, but that’s entirely beside the point.)  The old adage “Practice Makes Perfect” is dead wrong.  To strive for perfection is to set ourselves up for failure every time, but to strive for improvement–to challenge ourselves to get better–is worth ten of that.  So set yourself a writing challenge, one that fits your routine and schedule and needs, and use it as an opportunity to hone your form.

2. Go digital.

Many of my friends who went on to be poets–and there are many–have an aversion to social media.  I’m not entirely sure why there’s more of this tendency among my poet friends than among my friends who write prose and nonfiction, and I know that my cohort is not quite a representative statistical sample, but the tendency seems common.  It might have something to do with the intimate nature of poetry–it is, like much writing, a deeply private act that aims to generate a public–or semi-public–product.  So this April, I’d like to challenge you to go digital.  Not just as a person, but as a writer.  Experiment with a variety of social media options–Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Tumblr, Snapchat, and more–and do so as a poet.  Find your readers where they live, and meet them there.

3. Create a following.

But you know, not in a creepy way like in the television show.  Once you’re on social media, take advantage of the opportunity to post snippets of your work, updates from behind the scenes as you write, and generally work to create the cult of personality that surrounds books with that oh-so-important “buzz” factor.  This will help generate interest in your book, once you’re ready to publish–and will form a rock-solid foundation for your marketing strategy.

writing poetry in the woods, national poetry month 2016

If you’re not comfortable projecting yourself as a poet into the digital sphere, that’s okay.  There are reasons for those feelings, for reticence.  I simply hope, in my own small way, to encourage you with this reassurance: your work deserves to be read, and admired.  You are a poet, even if you haven’t yet published your book of poetry.  You’ll get there, in your own time, and when you’re ready.  Most of all, I want you to know that you have a community here who supports you all the way.

You are not alone. ♣︎

ElizabethABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.