I am reviewing these heart breaking poetry books together because the authors, D. E. Kerr and Ashley Rose, unknowingly have written books which complement each other beautifully.
Carnival Games by D. E. Kerr
I have always been a big fan of Kerr's writing and I was excited to read an advanced reading copy of her debut poetry book!
Carnival Games tells the story of a relationship which became carnivalesque - grotesque in its forced smiles, in the masks the two lovers began to wear.
Parts of my favourite moments from the book are above. Kerr's writing is fierce and unrepentant - although there is remorse, there is a strength in her words. The story of bringing power back into her life after the aftermath of an abusive relationship is what stays with the reader most - words are not prettily dressed up but they have a message to bring and I definitely sat up and listened.
Our Own Battles by Ashley Rose
This is a feminist call out and I have to say I was calling out 'YES' the whole time. Ashley's voice was full of strength and confidence and I loved the suggestion of the world that we can live in, if women support each other. My favourite poems deconstructed the 'fairytales' of romance - the 'male' story, and, dare I say it, 'mansplaining'.
The book's title says it all: Ashley can fight her own battles and she does not need saving! I am intrigued to read the sister book to this: Anne Chivon’s 'In your false kingdoms'.
The two books speak of being happy in your own skin - realising that the only person left to fight their battles is themselves, and that they are the only person suited for the job anyway.
Add Carnival Games on Goodreads here
Add Our Own Battles on Goodreads here