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Scraped Knees Paperback – January 19, 2017
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About the Author
While Kristine Brown writes with a focus on research, she hopes to expand herself creatively through poetry, prose, and art. A lifelong lover of cats, she works to complete her "Five Hundred Cats Project" at her blog, Crumpled Paper Cranes (https://crumpledpapercranes.com). Her creative writing has been featured in publications such as Thought Catalog, In-Flight Literary Magazine, Dulcet Quarterly, Forage Poetry, among others. In her free time, Kristine sings to Tori Amos and enjoys the richness of chocolate chai tea lattes.
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Top customer reviews
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Brown is a scientist, creating her own poetic compounds by morphing two unique subjects into one novel piece of compression. There are moments where, as a reader, I found Brown’s voice had jumped over harrowing subjective valleys and turned darkened corners before I was ready to jump and turn with her. She left me standing self-consciously at the edge of a stanza watching her language go, go, go boldly down the page. Brown has the confidence in her ability to truly surprise the reader. Prepare to be shocked!
It is easy to get lost in her language, easy to snuggle up inside of her images like a blanket you fumble through and forget where the opening is. Often, I’d read a poem and get to the end and forget what i had read before. While perhaps this is a lack of concentration on this reader’s end, it also is a strength of Brown’s writing. She demands her poems to be well attended to. Her work is not intended to become a one-off read. It wants to be studied, stared at, thought about, considered again and again. Her poems are knees that will continue to be scraped. They will continue to live.
There's an undeniable youthfulness in the hyper focus on the narrator's immediate circumstances and her perspective. But Brown will occasionally turn that on it's head revealing great depth in her narrator. The poem "Rejecting These Shoes" is one such example with it's juxtaposition of anxiety about what she knows is improper with the defiance to do it anyway. This collection has waves and valleys of the narrator's strength, perceived strength, and inevitable misunderstandings that makes it a good investigation into the psyche of emerging adulthood.
But poetry can also be Wordsworth, Byron or Maya Angelou. Or Eminem for that matter.
Kristine Brown, to get to the subject at hand, sent me an email asking me to review her little chapbook of poems, Scraped Knees, published by Ugly Sapling. I got the good vibes from her, so I said yes, though I don’t normally deal with poetry in this blog. I do happen to quite like poetry.
The book itself you can see in the picture above, it’s a neat little tome, and feels nice to touch. The poems inside vary, and include short prose. The themes vary from observations to exploring themes of loss, violence, law, sadness, relationships. They feel quite raw and honest, personal. I actually really enjoyed them, and especially liked how they felt young, not in the sense of being inexperienced or lacking nuance or quality, but rather about modern, youthful feelings. They mention school, bicycles, coming of age, concerns of a mid-twenty year old. I like how well they captured those feelings, evoked them, encapsulated them. Poetry does not have to be dusty and dry. (Or be just for those who wear skinny jeans)
Kristine Brown has been published in quite a few literary journals, and she also has her own successful blog, Crumpled Paper Cranes I recommend taking a look on her blog, you’ll get a really strong sense of who she is, and it’s full of interesting things, poems, thoughts, short prose, and a great series called 500 Cats, with pictures of cats and inspired poems.