Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Lovely Brush by Heather Awad

The Lovely Brush by Heather Awad
Self published in September 2016

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'In this collection of poems, the author shares her experiences with life, love, and family. With great depth and sincerity, she talks about personal challenges she has encountered. Her poems are visual, framing small moments in time from childhood up to the present day. Her life has been complex but she shares her experiences with the reader with absolute transparency.'

I discovered poet Heather Awad almost exactly a year ago and blogged my review of her first poetry collection, The Girl With The Blue Umbrella. I was delighted therefore when Heather got in touch recently to announce her second collection, The Lovely Brush, especially as she kindly offered me a review copy. Containing a similar number of poems to The Girl, sixty-four to the previous sixty-two, The Lovely Brush allows Awad a wide scope in which to present her universal themes while at the same time being so intensely personal that its reading felt claustrophobic. Demons are surely being exorcised here and I loved her clarity of memory and vision which is frequently almost painful to read.

The poems themselves are all just a single page long and have varied structures which maintained my interest. I identified strongly with two of the earliest, Simply and Diffident. Blushing is a delicate portrait of the beginnings of love and I appreciated the incisive observations in Getting Coffee At Window Two and A Girl's Dream. Awad delves into the darker aspects of family life for several poems highlighting alcoholism, neglect and violence, composing her words into gentle, subtle rhythms that contrast with their meanings to great effect. Overall I did find reading The Lovely Brush to be a bleak and saddening experience due to much of its subject matter which, I think, tells of the power of Awad's work to create such an emotional response.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Heather Awad / Poetry / Books from America

1 comment:

  1. The Lovely Brush is also featured in today's Noisetrade newsletter!