Tag Archives: poetry

My Poetry Month Pick: Bec & Call by Jenna Lyn Albert

7 Apr
Image from hoopladigital.com

April is one of my favorite months. Not only has spring finally overcome winter’s chill, but it is also the month when we celebrate poetry. You may already know Hoopla is a great source for movies, TV, graphic novels, and digital audiobooks, but one of the very cool things it has amongst its ebooks is a large variety of poetry collections just waiting to be enjoyed. You can find classics like Sylvia Plath’s Ariel as well as fresh contemporary poets like Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s Oceanic (her collection of nonfiction essays World of Wonders was just a New York Times Bestseller). For poetry month I thought I would share a recent book of poems I enjoyed, Jenna Lyn Albert’s Bec & Call.

Jenna Lyn Albert is a Canadian poet of Acadian decent who studied Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick. This was my first encounter with Albert’s poetry, but since I enjoyed it a lot I’m sure it will not be my last.

I was intrigued by the word play in the title, Bec & Call (bec is French for kiss), which is shared with one of the clever poems in the collection which chronicles the ridiculous things men have said to the poem’s speaker upon hearing of her French background. The brilliant wordplay and vibrant imagery in this poem are found throughout the collection, much of which deals with relationships and women seeking to share their voice in a culture that does not always want it to be heard. There is a physicality to her work which can be starkly ugly one moment and beautiful the next; this is a poet not afraid to stray into R rated territory.

If you enjoy writing that examines the idea of feminism in our contemporary world than you will find much to explore in her work such as the poem “TEN WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SEXUAL ASSUALT”, but there are also interesting musings on growing up and life that should be relatable to many. “Tongue-In-Cheek” about being given cod tongue reminded me of my experiences myself as a child where I was given food that only later turned out to be other than I was told. And yet the poem also brings something new to a common experience with its dark humor and vivid imagery.

Although I prefer poems in verse, those who are more hesitant towards more rigidly confined poetry might find comfort in some of the prose poems throughout such as “Noire,” a prose poem musing on all things black from shiny black shoes from childhood to a hearse at a cemetery.

Even in the last poem “Incensed” which categorizes ways of getting rid of household pests, and a messy partner who may also need removing, the language has a loveliness to it.

Enjoy poetry readings all month long on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7 PM with our Positively Poetry Series!

What are some of your favorite poets? Share them with our readers in the comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

Celebrate Poetry Month!: Poetry by David Elliott and Patricia Hruby Powell

15 Apr

April is poetry month! This month, the Hoboken Public Library Young Adult Department challenges you to become more aware and develop an appreciation of poetry. Poetry does not always rhyme and is not just a couple of verses to put on a greeting card. What better way to celebrate poetry month than to check out poetry through the Hoboken Public Library? We have a variety of digital resources including Hoopla, eBCCLS, and eLibraryNJ. Through these online digital resources, you can access these fiction books that are written in verse. Whether it is an adaptation of Greek mythology or the telling of a true love story that changed the country, these books are bound to attract many readers. 

Bull by David Elliott
Any true fans of Greek mythology will love David Elliott’s adaption of the Greek myth of the Minotaur. A Minotaur is a half-human and half-bull creature. Asterion is a Minotaur, whose story started before he was born. His birth was evidence of the revenge and betrayal of King Minos. The mastermind behind everything is Poseidon, the god of the sea, because King Minos angered him. So, instead of directly taking out his revenge on the king, he instead inflicted it on his wife, Queen Pasiphae. He did this by sending a bull to seduce the queen and therefore produce Asterion, the minotaur. Asterion understandably grows up estranged from his family but is still able to build a bond with his sister, Ariadne. The book captures this Greek story through verse and freestyle rap. The reader gets to take in the story through the voices of seven characters that play out throughout the book. The reader gets to see whether the bond between a brother and sister is strong enough to fight fate.  This title is available from eBCCLS as an ebook and  digital audiobook, eLibraryNJ as an ebook, and Hoopla as an ebook.

Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell
Loving Vs Virginia
Come and see how love conquered all and even changed a country in this historical verse fiction. Patricia Hruby Powell introduces Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving separately and together through her use of free verse. According to the law at this time, Mildred is considered “colored,” and Richard is considered “white” because of their skin tone. At this time, it is legal to keep people of different skin colors from loving or marrying each other. But this brave couple did just that through a legal loophole. They traveled from Virginia to Washington D.C. to get legally married. Trouble would not have been in the equation of their marriage, if they stayed in Washington D.C., but they went right back home to Virginia. Once they settled into married life, Richard and a pregnant Mildred were ripped apart and put in jail! Powell balances the external influences of Brown v.s Board of Education and the civil rights movement on the Lovings’ fight to live their lives as a married couple in the state they grew up in.  You can borrow Loving Vs. Virginia as an ebook or digital audiobook from Hoopla.

If you missed it, check out our blog post from last week with inspiration to write your own poetry.

Have a fiction book in verse to recommend?  Share it in our comments!

Written by:
Elbie Love
Young Adult Library Associate

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