Jeremy Mifsud Curates Your Poetry Favourites!

On Monday, we invited you to join a conversation on Twitter with Featured Artist Jeremy Mifsud. Today, Jeremy curates a list of your recommendations along with his thoughts on the titles you've suggested.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
On Monday, I asked you readers on which poetry collection do you love and why? I wanted to achieve two things with this. Primarily, to understand better the relationship of the reader to poetry, but also to generate talk and appreciation towards poets’ works.

One of the readers, Mela Blust, picked Camonghne Felix’s “Build Yourself a Boat”, which was published last April. The reader was “floored at the way [Felix] uses language, petals of words turning into flowers of poem.” I thought this was a beautiful image to describe someone’s writing. Moreover, the reader related to the topics discussed in the poems, including self-harm, trauma and healing.

Another reader (and AHP assistant editor), Amanda McLeod talks about “Amid Thirsty Vines” by Alfa. In her words, the collection is very deep but very simple. She also adds that the language is accessible. 

Catherine Garbinsky shared her love for three books: “The saint of milk and flames” by Kate Garrett; “Thaw” by Chelsea Dingman; and “The Gathering Song” by Christina XiongCatherine calls “alchemical” what these collections do by transforming something difficult to speak on in telling, giving them light. 

In and of themselves, the way these readers described their love for these collections was poetic. I believe that as readers we can enjoy many works, but we seek those which we identify with; those which directly speak to our inner selves; those that feel as if we were the ones writing them. And perhaps from a writer’s perspective, we’re reminded that language does not to be complex to convey strong emotions. Readers seek out honesty, and by putting ourselves out there, we’re giving opportunities to those who have gone through similar hardships to relate and heal through reading.

This interaction with readers was quite enjoyable. I’m glad that readers discussed recently published collections by alive poets. It was even nicer when some of the authors of these books witnessed the tweets and felt the love. That’s one of the beautiful things about the interconnectivity of social media — the readers and authors have an easier link, and it only takes a minute and few characters to send someone appreciation for their work!