The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Women Authors

Woman Without Shame by Sandra Cisneros

Woman Without Shame reminds me of Nikki Giovanni’s most recent collection, in that I had a similar feeling while reading each book that these are two poets that get better and better with age. Every bit of Woman Without Shame is saturated in maturity and confidence, right down to the title. When I grow up, I want to be Sandra Cisneros.

Woman Without Shame by Sandra Cisneros, (List Price: $27, Knopf, 9780593534823, September 2022)

Reviewed by Jordan Pulaski, Small Friend Records & Books in Richmond, Virginia

Artemis Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

A September 2022 Read This Next! Title

Trista Mateer punched me directly in the chest with this poetry collection. Carved my heart out and served it back to me with a sprig of parsley on top. Every page of this book is chock full of beautiful, enchanting words that dig in deep and tear up the soil to reveal things you might not have thought about in years. Even if a poem doesn’t directly connect with you, it will in fact, ruin you.

Artemis Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer, (List Price: $16.99, Central Avenuel Publishing, 9781771682725, September 2022)

Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón

A May 2022 Read This Next! Selection

A eulogy of sorts to things we are always going to lose, and to the things that are taken from us, this is a beautiful body of work that trembles with hurt, but asks also for its due attention- a wounded thing not yet surrendering. Poems of movement, of worry, of a recognized grief and the subsequent small joys that can bloom out of dirt like small flower heads…Limón never, ever disappoints when it comes to understanding the great and terrible spectrum of emotions that is our cross to bear. It’s as if this newest collection is a honed and finely tuned string of metal hewn from her previous work, singing its own loud and new sound, ever reminding us that she belongs alongside Sontag, Lorde, James Welch, Oliver- the heralds of the Word that have come before and whose worlds will remain long after.

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón, (List Price: $22, Milkweed Editions, 9781639550494, May 2022)

Reviewed by Aimee Keeble from Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón

Reading this collection made me feel like I was standing outside with my bare feet in the grass, scrunching my toes in the soil, feeling the breeze on my face, and pondering the oneness of everything.

The Hurting Kind by Ada Limón, (List Price: $22, Milkweed Editions, 9781639550494,  May 2022)

Reviewed by LeeAnna Callon, Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans, Louisiana

Goldenrod by Maggie Smith

Poignant, raw, and fresh, Smith’s new collection of poems explores motherhood, grief, divorce, and the many complexities of weathering a pandemic. Her clear voice and effortless creation of images makes this collection a delight to read.

Goldenrod by Maggie Smith, (List Price: $20, Atria/One Signal Publishers, 9781982185060,  July 2021)

Reviewed by Hannah Kerbs, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire

I cant put into words how much this poetry collection affected me, and how I am completely infatuated with every word on every page. Shire truly left me speechless with her prose and poems centering around being a refugee, maternal relationships, and what it means to be a woman. It’s poetry that’s so full of emotion you feel every word she says, and it’s impeccable.

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire, (List Price: $17, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780593134351,  March 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

My Darling from the Lions by Rachel Long

These poems were enchanting and brilliant, forcing you to think and interact with the stories being told. Once you sit down with this book, you won’t be able to get back up until you’ve closed it and long after, too consumed with every single word. Carefully crafted, and perfectly balanced, this book of poetry is perfect for newcomers to poetry, or those well versed in it.

My Darling from the Lions by Rachel Long, (List Price: 16.95, Tin House Books, 9781951142711, September 2021)

Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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