Four Star Review: ‘A Rather Beguiling Find’


Here’s a new four-star review of Drunk Dialing the Divine from Shane on Goodreads:

A rather beguiling find, a book I sculpted and stained into a peculiar shape and grotty hue , by carrying everywhere. The poems are an interesting exploration of youthful ,wounded humaness and religious certainty/ uncertainity -which becomes fresh when filtered through the eyes of someone wilfully distinctive in her abrasive dialoguing and defense of seemly fading traditions, and thought patterns, all mingled with unresolved deep human aches.

I’m honored by your reflection, Shane. Thank you for carrying my words with you everywhere- it means a lot.

 

Want to read what he’s talking about? Catch your copy of Drunk Dialing the Divine today!

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‘But This Volume Was Beautiful To Me’: Five-Star Review from a Christian Author


A five-star Goodreads review from Raelee Carpenter, Christian author of Kings and Shepherds and The Lincoln High Project, states:

I can’t pretend to know much about or have extensive experience with poetry, but this volume was beautiful to me, gritty and profound, drawing tears from my eyes.

Thank you, Ms. Carpenter! I really appreciate knowing when I have been able to impact my readers, and am grateful that you took the time to review my first collection of poetry.

If you haven’t read Drunk Dialing the Divine yet, now is the time! Order now from Amazon or straight from the publisher. (If you order a paperback copy from the publisher, you automatically get a free eBook copy as well!). I would love to see what you think about it- don’t forget to review on Amazon, or Goodreads.

Holy Innocents


After thinking through some things, I have decided that I will now be posting on a bi-weekly basis, so every other Sunday. Pray that I will be able to keep up with this schedule.

So to start this off, have a fresh new poem written by yours truly. This was written way back in December 2014, on the Feast of Holy Innocents, which happened to also share a Sunday with the Feast of the Holy Family. This poem is a reflection of that juxtaposition of the suffering of innocent children with the impending suffering of the Holy Infant, as I was captivated by a young child in the pews in front of me at Mass.

holyinnocents

Drunk Dialing the Divine: An Analysis


Recently on Goodreads, a fan named Shane reached out to me via messaging to discuss Drunk Dialing the Divine. These kinds of things usually make me super anxious (did they like it? did they not like it? will I be able to answer the reader’s questions? will I be able to handle the reader’s questions?), but Shane gave me a gift in sending his own analysis of the title poem, ‘Drunk Dialing the Divine’, which had led him to order the collection. I have gotten his permission to share his analysis here, which he apologizes for being “impulsive and impassioned…soul bypassing head…[with a] heartfelt scruffy photoflash quality to it”.

 

 “Drunk Dialing the Divine” from the excerpt online…. the title reminded me a St John of the Cross line about God being a hidden wine cellar in the heart. Or in this case the tragic consequences of heart and/or world intoxicated by every thing else apart from God… the phone call echoes the alienation and dislocation of modern relationships with each other and God. The narrator (Mediator????) is interesting because she voices a Pauline concept that when we come face to face with the supreme holiness of God it will be “terrifying”. The sheer righteousness and ultimate goodness of God demands that even angels must avert their eyes and I could witter on about cheap grace and the cost of refusing grace for pages and the blasphemy of this world.
I like the ‘lasso’ line- its bold and dramatic, suggesting Christ’s suffering but is also about control,(you lasso animals) Man tries to domesticate God… but here is the thing, the last line “staving off prayer” also points to the fact the narrator/”mediator” is out of step with God. He/she’s ( I’m assuming its a woman) vision of God seems smug, shrill and narrow, he/she  has domesticated God. I scribbled down- can you Drunk Dial God? I mean how many sinners have in a moment of despair screamed out to God and found in the morning they didn’t have to apologize to God. That’s the radical vision of redemption right? Jesus is the “mediator” between God and man he came for sick not the well. The narrator seems dulled to the possibility of mercy in some subtle way . The poem had me thinking of the Pharisees concept of God and the publicans God “forgive me I’m a sinner”.
As we never know what the drunk is saying in the poem we can’t work out if he is at rock bottom and truly contrite( what has he done? what is there relationship??) or as implicit just a another repeat offender. The poem is wrestling with the difference between piety and love, mercy and justice. Oh I really, really liked the change in gear or flow just after ‘lasso’-‘rope’. It had the effect of looping the poem back on its self like a lasso . There was also some nice lyrical flashes contrasted with pungent spikiness.

 

 

I really enjoy when people respond to my work like this. Shane touched on a lot of nuances that I intentionally put into the poem as I was writing it, as well as pointing out possibilities in interpretation that I hadn’t even thought of yet- but can accept as being a completely valid, and strangely refreshing, reading.

I am extremely grateful for this first in-depth analysis of my own work, and look forward to more in the years to come! Have you read one of my works and wanted to tell me how it made you feel (whether for good or ill?) Always feel free to either comment or contact me via e-mail. I love having these kinds of discussions with my readers!

Happy Easter!


Easter Communion

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast: 
God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips.
You striped in secret with breath-taking whips, 
Those crooked rough-scored chequers may be pieced
To crosses meant for Jesu’s; you whom the East 
With draught of thin and pursuant cold so nips
Breathe Easter now; you serged fellowships, 
You vigil-keepers with low flames decreased, 

God shall o’er-brim the measures you have spent
With oil of gladness, for sackcloth and frieze
And the ever-fretting shirt of punishment
Give myrrhy-threaded golden folds of ease.
Your scarce-sheathed bones are weary of being bent: 
Lo, God shall strengthen all the feeble knees.

Review: A Must Read for Poetry Lovers and Those Looking for God


A five star review today from reader Janet Kalmadge- personal reviews like hers just absolutely brighten my day!

I started following Amber on a poetry site. Then I found her blog. She is so open about her life and writing projects. This book is an extension of that openness. Of what she is seeking and questioning. When it comes to God and religion, that is not always easy to do. Her poetry is beautiful, often raw. This book is filled with deep meaning, pondering and answers. I shall always treasure this book.

 

Thank you, Janet, for the kind words! I hope I’ll only be able to get better as I continue to write, and keep being able to give more of myself to my readers. I treasure your support.

Review: Poetry of the Heart


Amazon reviewer Kimberly Duboise has currently put up a four-star review of Drunk Dialing the Divine online! Of my debut collection, Kimberly says:

This collection of poetry expresses honest questioning and seeking, a great example of a heart that is seeking answers and the one who answers. I loved this book as the quality of depth was so moving and beautiful in its clarity. I felt old familiar stirrings of my own soul searching days, very nostalgic !! I appreciate the poetry in this book, appreciate the author for expressing thought and emotions about her journey with skill and talent!

Thank you, Kimberly! I’m very happy with the overwhelming positivity that this collection has been received with.

If you haven’t yet, why not get yourself a copy of Drunk Dialing the Divine, now rated as 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon? If you buy the paperback from eLectio publishing, you can also get the eBook version for free! Looking for lots of poetry at once? Drunk Dialing the Divine is also part of a five book bundle, at 30% off the total retail value!

Don’t forget- if you’ve read Drunk Dialing the Divine, I’d be extremely grateful for any reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and/or Goodreads. Whether you’re inclined to put a 1 or 5 star-rating, a small handful of sentences or a several paragraph analysis, my career as a beginning poet really relies on your input! Let me know what I’ve done well for you as a reader, and let me know how I can also improve in future projects.

Anniversary Giveaway: Winners


It’s December 7th- a year ago today, Drunk Dialing the Divine was released by eLectio publishing as my debut collection of poetry.

For my anniversary giveaway, 423 people entered and 5 people were selected randomly by Goodreads as winners.

Congratulations to the giveaway winners:

Melissa Pollard

Dustin Judah

Katrina Knittle

Brigitte Short

Mariam Mahamah

 

I will be sending out the winning copies Monday!

Video Reading: Lord of the Dance


Fulfilling a request from Janet Kalmadge, here is a video reading of my poem ‘Lord of the Dance’, which was originally published in the March-April issue of devozine, the devotional magazine for teens. I know I was asked for a raw poem, but after mass this morning I have been filled with an overwhelming sense of joy that cannot be contained, and my current mood better fits this poem. I’ll be posting a new ‘Things that Keep Me Sane’ about my experience today, which will hopefully explain some things. In the meantime, enjoy a video reading of ‘Lord of the Dance’.

Acquisition Notice: devozine


The devotional magazine for teens, devozine, has acquired a second poem of mine. This one, titled ‘Are You Listening?’ will be published in the MA 2014 issue, under the Art of Listening theme. I’m so honored to be able to be a part of this ministry again!