I have been reading poetry lately, not the Whitman, Cummings or Oliver but of contemporary poets, many of whom shared their creations first on social media before making it to traditional publication.
Who hasn’t heard of New York Times bestselling author, Rupi Kaur with Milk and Honey (2014), her debut collection of poetry and prose collection of poems, and the recent The Sun and Her Flowers (2017). Both books address the ebb and flow of life – triumph and loss, joy and hurt, trauma and healing – in essence tracing the universality of the human condition.
Then there is the works of Lang Laev, born to Cambodian parents in a refugee camp in Thailand and raised in Sydney. She is the author of 5 collections of poems and prose, the most successful being Lullabies (2014) and Love and Misadventure (2013). Her other collections include Memories (2015), The Universe of Us (2016) with Sea of Strangers due 9 Jan 2018. As you may guessed from the titles of her books, Lang Laev‘s poems traced her journey in family, love and loving again. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing – her quirky sense and approach to everyday happenings.
Incidentally, Lang Laev now lives in New Zealand with her partner, Michael Faudet, also a poet. I discovered Michael’s work Bitter Sweet Love (2016) separate from Lang and it was a fascinating realisation that they are partners-in-crime 🙂 Michael Faudet‘s poems and prose are confronting and verge on the sensual and erotic. After all he does have a curated erotic Tumblr. On the personal front, Michael Faudet is a mystery in that while he is everywhere on social media, little is known of this Kiwi poet and artist. His other works include Dirty Pretty Things (2014) and Smoke and Mirrors (2017) which is on my wishlist.
Michel Faber is another poet which I stumbled across in a Sydney book store, his book Undying: A Love Story (2016) that is. Award winning author of 9 other books, this is Michel Faber’s first poem collection written while accompanying his wife through her journey from diagnosis to her passing from cancer. Heart wrenching and entirely beautiful, they chronicle love and despair, anger and sorrow.
Finally, an insightful gift Neon Soul (2017) by Alexandra Elle. The author writes with a rebel spirit, her poems speaking of healing and positive affirmations, instead of pain which fueled much of contemporary poems.
There you are, five poets worth checking out. especially if you are looking for something different and/or accessible.
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