Susan's Archives From December 2020
Lush green leaves sprout and spread on my twigs.
¨My leaves are growing Momma, they're growing!" I say shaking for her attention.
¨I see it my little one, I see it," she says as she looks toward the sun breathing in the rays, her branches stretching back to life.
"When will the birds come to play with us? When, when, when?" I wobble around splaying myself out to capture each ray I can.
¨Any day now, if you listen you can hear the faint flapping of their wings in the distance.¨
I try to stop sucking in the water from my roots to hear better, but it is too hard. "I can't hear anything."
¨One day you will, you will,¨ Momma says.
What is Verse Atlas?
Verse Atlas is a digital zine in the form of a map that showcases poetry and art from around the world. The only criteria is that the work must be about a physical place, and is then pinned to that location on the map. The connection to place that can be fairly loose. It could be a place you miss. It could be a place where you were just inspired by the landscape. It could be a place you hated. Whenever I have had an intense experience related to place, I have often wondered what other people have had an strong reaction to that place, and thought it would be really interesting to see those responses along-side each other. I have had the idea of a map that is devoted specifically to art and to poetry for a long time and the only reason it doesn’t include other art forms is because poetry and art traditionally have a connection with landscape, and are more succinct; they can really wrap up that feeling a bit more tightly than prose or video.
This is my first ever subscription book box! I researched a couple of them for months and have been interested in checking it out as I go deeper into the reader community and the lives of avid readers.
What is Owlcrate?
I chose Owlcrate to start off with. I signed up for a six-month subscription. Each box is 29.99 (shipping is not included) and if you sign up for six months you get twelve dollars off. Owlcrate sends boxes with a special edition signed young adult book along with a mixture of bookish merchandise related to other popular book fandoms.
What is Release about?
Release by Patrick Ness has a main plot that follows a day in the life of a teenage boy, Adam Thorn, who lives in a small town and has a religious family. He hasn't come out to his parents yet, and is dealing with preparing to say goodbye to his ex (who didn't treat him particularly well) at his going away party while negotiating a romance with his current boyfriend. This thread is the majority of the book and fits snugly into the contemporary young adult coming of age story. The book is also influenced heavily by Mrs. Dalloway from Virginia Woolf and Forever by Judy Blume. Both books I haven't read yet. Adam is searching for a release on several different levels with his family and with himself.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan is one of my favorite books because of its hard to place genre and literary mode. The beautiful prose and compelling story helps too. I also loved the atmosphere created with the reader experiencing Taiwan along with the main character.
This book opens a lot of doors bringing experimental fiction to the mainstream. It is a well received success with critics as well as readers. This is hard to do with a book that doesn't fit neatly into a traditional marketing category or genre.