Helloooooo and happy Monday, everyone! I hope you’re having an excellent day. Today, I get to share some beautiful art created by a talented friend – you won’t want to miss this. We’re gonna have a great time. 😀 *turns on The Lumineers and pulls you up a chair*
You all know who Allison is, unless you’re very new to the blogosphere or you’ve been living under a sad isolated rock. She runs a sunshine-filled blog overflowing with beautiful photography, stunning artwork, gorgeous words, and just general kindness that is appreciated by all who are lucky enough to know her. Last year, she published her first poetry book, Unfurling. I was lucky enough to help out with it in a small way, and I’ve read it several times since it was published – it makes me so happy to have it on my bookshelf! When Allison asked me to be a beta reader for her second poetry book, I practically exploded with excitement, abandoned all responsibility, and stayed up past midnight devouring every word. 😀
HERE IS THE BOOK IN ALL OF ITS GORGEOUSNESS. It contains 100 poems of varying lengths, many of them accompanied by beautiful pen-and-watercolor illustrations. I have it open in my lap while I’m typing this, and let me tell you, reading poetry on a printed page is a million times better than reading it online. It makes it feel real in a whole different way, like the poems are breathing on the page, their ink-and-paper texture so lifelike compared to words on a screen. ❤
these thoughts inside mespark – “weaving words”
have been simmering for too long –
i must get them out before they burn.
i must tear them out,
share them out,
but do i really want to show others
the wallpaper of my heart?
I think this quote from one of my favorite poems in the book captures Spark wonderfully well. When a writer truly opens up in their work, when they pull back the curtains and show, in Allison’s words, the wallpaper of their hearts, it creates something incredibly refreshing to read. It’s like an honest conversation between the author and the page, the kind of conversation that leaves you wishing it didn’t have to end. Spark makes you think – it reminds you to take a step back and remember what you’re here for. It’s a quiet book, full of words that make you stop and wonder, sentences that you’ll find yourself thinking about long after you’ve finished reading.
All that to say… buy the book because you will 100% not regret it and it will be refreshing to your soul. 😀 There’s my review, I’ll stop talking now and let my interview with Allison take it from here! My questions are in bold and her answers are in normal print. 🙂
– Why do you write?
Because I’m no good at talking. 😝 The simple fact is that my fingers keep up with my brain much better than my tongue can, and when a scene or a person or a feeling grabs me and a poem starts churning around in my brain, writing down my thoughts is the only way to get them out of my head. Writing, for me, is a way to process my world and explore it from a different perspective – as well as a more portable way to share my point of view with others.
– Do you have a favorite poem that you’ve written?
Oh dear. *gulp* Well a few of my favorites from this book include “tears,” “knock, knock,” and “word soup.” From Unfurling, I like “thrown,” “heart of wax,” and “journey.” My favorite poems tend to be the ones with personal stories behind them; whether those stories are my own or other peoples’. For that reason, my favorite poems may not resonate as much with you other ones – but that’s the beauty of poetry! All the white space on the page, both literal and figurative, allows you room to fit yourself and your own story between the lines.
– How is Spark different from Unfurling?
For one thing, Spark has almost twice as many poems as Unfurling does! *happy dance* Also, the overall feel of Spark is a little more quiet and contemplative than the tone of Unfurling, a difference I tried to reflect in the different cover design. Unfurling has a bright, almost innocent-looking cover, whereas Spark’s cover draws you in to a cozy, magical, but slightly more intense atmosphere. I think my poems will naturally keep changing as I grow and mature, and Spark reflects that. Overall, though, there’s definitely a mix of fun, happy poems and thoughtful, deep ones, just as there were in my previous book.
– Do you have any favorite poetry books?
Yes! I love Locomotion, by Jacqueline Woodson; and All the Small Poems and Fourteen More, by Valerie Worth. I greatly admire the poignant yet subdued storytelling in the first one, and the simplicity and delightful descriptions in the second. I also love the little volume of Emily Dickinson’s poetry (The Essential Emily Dickinson) which a friend gave me recently.
– Who, if anyone, would you consider to be your writing role model?
You know, I’m not really sure. One reason the label “writer” doesn’t pop into my mind when people ask me who I am or what I do is that, for me, poem-writing is more of a sporadic, solitary work. I don’t follow a ton of writers on social media or read a lot about the proper technical aspects of poetry, except when I wonder about something and look it up. But one classic poet I really admire is Emily Dickinson. I think we share just a tiny bit of a similar style and perspective. In one poem, she comes up with the most charming descriptions of nature and objects, and in the next, she dives deep into her own head and genuine human thoughts. Her words hold a wonder and intensity I aspire to in my poems.
– Do you plan to continue releasing poetry books?
Yes! I’m not sure if I’ll keep releasing a book every year, though, as this book took quite a bit more effort than last year’s and I might not be able to keep up this pace. 😝 But I will keep releasing books as long as I have poems to fill them with, and I don’t plan on stopping poetry anytime soon!
– What do you love best about writing poetry?
Capturing beauty (or sometimes ugliness and sadness) in a real, raw, and unusual way. Words are powerful; there’s a reason some books don’t translate well into movies. Even though a picture is often worth a thousand words, it can’t convey the imaginary thoughts of a tree or the soul of someone with a pasted-on smile quite the way even 100 words can, if you use them correctly. I love the constraints of poetry; the way certain words cast shadows that say so much more; the challenge of finding those words and using the least amount of letters to convey the maximum amount of impact. And I love the authenticity of poetry. Poetry doesn’t have to be confusing or needlessly flowery (although there are plenty of those poems out there – some of which are mine!). Poetry gets to the heart of the matter, and figuring out the morse-code tapping of those heartbeats is half the fun.
– If you knew that you were writing your last poem, what would it be about?
Wow, that’s an excellent question! It would probably be a really long poem filled with observations and things about myself or other people I haven’t written down because I was too afraid someone would read them.
– Is there anything you want to change about Spark now that you can’t edit it anymore? XD
Heh heh. Well, I wish the cover looked a bit more like it looked on my computer when I designed it, but honestly? I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. 😊
– Why should the person reading this consider buying a copy of Spark for themselves?
This little book is about looking past the surface, whether it’s the undercurrent of a simple landscape or the laughing façade of someone who’s breaking inside. It’s about finding light in the darkness, not about pretending the darkness doesn’t exist. And it’s about intentionally seeking out the beauty and the wonder God has placed all around us, in the midst of a busy and chaotic world. If those sentences resonated with you, you might just enjoy this book, whether you’re normally a fan of poetry or not. 😊
Allison Beery is a Christian teen with a passion for creating and capturing beauty, whether it’s through writing, art, photography, or taking a walk in the woods. She lives on a big farm in Central Virginia with her parents, four siblings, and a multitude of pets. She strives to glorify God in everything and love people genuinely. Learn more about her at her blog, A Farm Girl’s Life, or stalk her art Instagram @thecolorboxstudio.
Thanks for letting me interview you, Allison! ❤ You guys just got some extra poetry in her beautifully-worded answers, huh? If that didn’t convince you that Spark is a good use of your money, I don’t know what will. 😀 Maybe you just need to see some other people talk about how wonderful it is! Several other lovely humans have participated in this blog tour – my post is the last stop before Allison wraps it all up on her blog tomorrow. 🙂 Here’s the schedule in case you’d like to see all kinds of creative reviews, snippets, and more from around the blogosphere!
Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life – Blog Tour Kickoff, Author’s Intro, + Giveaway Begins
October 26 (Saturday)
Aria @ Aria Lisette – Book Review
October 27 (Sunday)
Amie @ Crazy A – Book Review, Author Interview
October 28 (Monday)
Jo @ Pananaw – Review, Snippets, and Author Interview with a slight twist
October 29 (Tuesday)
Sam @ The Chocolate Box – Book Review & Poem Snippets
October 30 (Wednesday)
Megan @ A Barefoot Gal – Mini Book Review
November 1 (Friday)
Hannah @ The Striped Plaid – Book Review & Poem Snippets
November 2 (Saturday)
Charis @ Charis Rae – Mini Book Review & Instagram Q&A
November 3 (Sunday)
Heather @ The Frozen Library – Author Interview
November 4 (Monday)
Clara @ Clara & Co – Book Review & Author Interview
November 5 (Tuesday)
Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life – Blog Tour Wrap-Up + Giveaway Winners!
One last thing before you go – Allison is giving away a copy of Spark + some cozy bookish things to one lucky person! Click here to see the giveaway details and enter. 🙂
^ Also, don’t forget to click right there and get yourself a copy! Thanks so much for reading – I hope you enjoyed this rather wordy post. 😀
Until next time! ❤
What’s your favorite part of Allison’s blog? Have you ever written a poem? Who is your favorite author? Are you only answering these questions for giveaway entries? XD