In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.” Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track.
So this is the first poetry book review on my blog. Poetry book reviews will be a bit shorter than novel reviews. I do read poetry occasionally, so there will be more poetry reviews coming as well!
I decided to read this poetry collection because one of my favourite booktubers; Katie Wismer, loves this one so much. I was especially interested in the lay out of this book. The lay out definitely stood out for this one. It’s very original and I’ve never seen anything like it before. I loved how it was supposed to be a mixtape and that each poem had it’s own song. I saw some of my favourite songs and also songs that I had never heard of before, so it’s a nice mix of genres and a great way to discover some new music.
This was also the first time ever that I read black out poetry. And I did really like that, but not as much as I had expected for some reason. I guess that I had hoped for more ‘complicated’ black out poetry. The black out poems mostly consisted of one sentence or even just a couple of words and I had hoped for longer poems. But the black out poems were still good.
I actually really enjoyed Alicia Cook’s writing style. Her poems were easy to understand but still a bit more complicated than let’s say Rupi Kaur’s ones or Amanda Lovelace’s ones. Most of them were also not too short, but also not super long either. They were like the perfect length for me.
I found the topics of the poems very relatable, which is what I look for in poetry. If it’s not relatable to me, I find it hard to like the poems. Unless you’re able to make them sound relatable to me, even though they aren’t. I don’t think Alicia Cook could make me feel relatable if I wasn’t already relating to the poem. But that was okay since 90% of the poems were already relatable.
I would definitely recommend this collection if you’re into modern poetry, because it is a new and fresh concept.