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SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like: Poetry by Women for Women an Anthology Paperback – Illustrated, October 27, 2019
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"This is poetry that penetrates into the heart of not only the experience of lesbian love, but into what love means to the human psyche. These are emotions that live in each of us; that they are expressed here with a uniquely feminine interpretation truly enriches the palette of lesbian literature.
Women poets have here found a stage upon which they can present their passions and intimate feelings openly and in unison. SMITTEN brings the beauty and intricacies of women's love for each other into a unique and captivating presentation. With the publication of this volume, Indie Blu(e) remains at the forefront of giving lesbian literature a new and important direction.
Lesbian writers have long suffered the neglect of history and the close-mindedness of the world of literature and have yet somehow managed to rise above the indifference and the prejudice to express their distinctive creativity. The women represented in SMITTEN are strong voices confidently expressing their individuality. Perhaps Sappho verbalized it best when over two thousand years ago she wrote:
"May I write words more naked than flesh, stronger than bone, more resilient than sinew, sensitive than nerve."
Yes, that is the kind of poetry to be found within the pages of SMITTEN."
"Although this is subtitled "Poetry by Women for Women", to assume that this is only relevant to women who love women (or even only to women at all, leaving out male readers) and to pass it by because of that would be a terrible mistake. At its center, it is simply about love, experienced and expressed by an eloquent and diverse collection of writers, of all ages, from all backgrounds, viewpoints and walks of life."
"Love doesn't have just one "look" to it and I thank SMITTEN for reminding readers of that.
Love transcends race and gender."
- Christy Birmingham, Versions of the Self
"Too often we sideline LGBTQ+ work as a genre of its own, when it should be mainstream; literary works which are written by people to be enjoyed by people, no matter what their race, sexuality, gender and/or religion.
Yet, until this happens, I applaud Daquin and Indie Blu(e) Publishing for brazenly making a stand. Until labels are but words and not identifiers, it is important that writers like those in this collection share their voices and stories, ever-lasting love and heartbreak, and their hopes and fears, to remind the literary world they will be heard, no matter what the response may be."
-Kristiana Reed, Between the Trees
- Publisher : Indie Blue Publishing; Illustrated edition (October 27, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 418 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1951724003
- ISBN-13 : 978-1951724009
- Item Weight : 1.34 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.05 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #375,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2019
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I came for the swoon, I'll admit it, and oh, it's there in abundance. But you can't live on cake, and the jealousy and pain and playfulness make the book so perfectly balanced. Also, my penchant as a writer and reader is for mythology and the natural world -- Alison Stone's "First Pomegranate", and Jessica Jacobs' "Stridulation Sonnet" (just to name two of dozens) grabbed me where I live -- but I found myself wonderfully sidelined by the simplest poems that stripped me to my core. The dichotomies that are not disharmonies. "But I am a woman," C.E. Wing says, "And I am a stud. This is who I am / There are others like me." Masculine, feminine, or fluid, the same heart beats through every piece.
If you're looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, SMITTEN is it!
By Cybrmaus on December 8, 2019
Top reviews from other countries
Often hard-hitting, soft and caressing at others, the words here hit home. Sometimes you don’t realise how much others have suffered or strived for until being placed in their proverbial boots and in each individual poem we are. From the direct opening of ‘Lesbian’ onwards, this anthology explores both the cerebral and heartfelt as told by women for women, and I suspect of all ages. There are no punches pulled, and no stones left unturned.
In a book of many favourites, standouts such as The Queen of Spain, Choose Any Angle You Like She said, Mementos, and Violets cast before we come, truly shone. In truth, you could open at any page and feel yourself unravel before such well-penned and expressive poetry.
Recommended to all, although I dare say the book’s intended audience shall feel the words most profoundly. If you read any poetry this year, read this.
To say that SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like; Poetry by Women for Women touched me on a level that very few books have been able to reach, would not only be an understatement, but a massive disservice to the writers, editors, and publishers of this book.
From the cover design and the foreword, and my god, the opening poem ‘Lesbian’ by Avital Abraham, I was enraptured. How could one not be with words penned as exquisitely as this:
Lesbian is a monster.
Am I the monster?
do I want that word to feel delicious.
And delicious is exactly what this book is. It’s delicious in its pain, delicious in its suffering, delicious in its acceptance and unapologetic love. The writers in this book have no doubt all faced their share, and then some, of feeling less than, being told they are less than, living as less than, all because of who they love.
For far too long any expression of love by women for women has been chalked up to either lukewarm hypocritical acceptance (it’s okay to be gay, but I hope you aren’t) or nothing more than erotic urges to be played out in most men’s fantasies, but SMITTEN smashes the hell out of those twisted views, and it does so with absolute stunning precision.
Like that bell
That got Pavlov’s dog to salivate
I rise to an intensity of longing
in the presence of a tall, sexual
Butch pristinely starched
pledged to sisterly friendship
she says, not the sort of wild
sunrise I ardently desire, still.
Henri Bensussen – from This Splendid Sunrise
SMITTEN is the book I will give to my daughters, not only to appreciate and cultivate their ever-growing love of literature, but to take a walk inside the mind of many someones who loves just as fiercely as they do, even if on the outside, that love looks different, or remarkably the same, as theirs.
SMITTEN is something to behold. The lines, the breaks, the breaths a reader takes between are both sharp and soothing. This book is bursting with the kind of breathtaking poetry and prose that knows no gender, no sexual orientation, no colour or country, only the collective sighs of literature lovers from all walks of life.
Whether you identify as a proud member of the LGBTQ2 community, an ally within, or someone not entirely certain where you stand on love, SMITTEN is a book you simply must read. Whether you’re looking for acceptance, understanding, something to change your mind, SMITTEN is by far the book to do al of it.
But of course, if you’re just looking for really good poetry, well then I have high hopes for SMITTEN and every writer cradled within its pages.