On Saturday, my best friends and I spent our second-to-last day of spring break right by attending a poetry reading at our local Barnes and Noble. The best part? The event was in honor of Amanda Lovelace and Cyrus Parker, the cutest poetry-writing married couple. Amanda is known for her debut collection, the princess saves herself in this one, and both authors just came out with new books last Tuesday: Amanda’s the witch doesn’t burn in this one and Cyrus’ debut DROPKICKromance.
The event kicked off with Cyrus reading a few poems from DROPKICKromance. The collection tells his experience being in a toxic relationship and then transitions to his much healthier and happier relationship with Amanda. One of the poems he read was about Amanda and he looked at her while he read (*major swoon*). I didn’t pick up a copy at the event, but I’m hoping to borrow it from the library really soon. After his reading, Cyrus discussed his inspiration behind the collection—it’s named after his favorite move when he was a pro-wrestler (!!!)- and the work behind his writing.
Amanda then read a few poems from the witch doesn’t burn in this one, starting off with her dedication. I love that Amanda dedicated the princess saves herself in this one and the witch doesn’t burn in this one to fictional characters, respectively to the boy who lived (Harry Potter) and the girl on fire (Katniss Everdeen). I’ve been trying to slow down my book-buying habits due to my lack of shelf space, but the fact that Katniss and The Hunger Games were large inspirations for her collection made me buy it immediately.
After Amanda’s reading, there was a Q&A with both authors. My favorite poems in the princess saves herself in this one were about the protagonist’s relationship to words and fiction, so I asked Amanda and Cyrus what their favorite books were. Amanda discussed her love for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, as well as her latest read, Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough, which she blurbed. Cyrus talked about his love for Leigh Bardugo and Six of Crows and that they were married by Leigh herself!! * INSERT PSA FOR MORE AUTHORS TO BECOME WEDDING OFFICIANTS HERE*
Toward the end of the event, Amanda signed my copy of the witch doesn’t burn in this one and we talked more about Six of Crows (Amanda loves Nina and Cyrus loves Kaz and Inej) and Book Expo/Book Con- I will always find a way to work this into any conversation ever. If you’re attending Book Con in June, Amanda and Cyrus are going to be on a panel during the convention!
Overall, I’m so happy that I attended this event and that my B&N is holding more and more author events (I met Jennifer E. Smith here back in September!). I can’t wait to read the witch doesn’t burn in this one and DROPKICKromance in the near future.
In anticipation for the reading & signing, I read Amanda’s the princess saves herself in this one over my spring break and you can check out my mini review below.
the princess saves herself in this one
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
the princess saves herself in this one is the first collection in Amanda’s women are some kind of magic trilogy. Fun fact that Amanda discussed at the above event: the final collection is going to be about mermaids, entitled the mermaid’s voice returns in this one!
The collection is divided into four sections: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. the princess saves herself in this one can most definitely be read in one sitting (I separated into two just because of work, other reads, and a Brooklyn Nine-Nine marathon tiredness). The book addresses numerous, heavy topics, including abuse, death, and self-harm. Amanda’s writing is largely inspired by her own life and her writing just felt so real. I think this is why so many readers have been able to resonate with her poetry. Personally, I related the most to the book-related ones, like the one below:
I admit that I don’t read a ton of poetry so this might be more common than not, but I enjoyed how the titleswere placed at the bottom of the poem. This technique often made me have an a-ha moment and it was interesting to see what each poem was really about AFTER reading. My biggest problem with reading poetry is figuring out how the poems should be read. Amanda’s poetry heavily use spaces and while I don’t mind this practice, I often had trouble figuring out how the poem should be read aloud. I know it can be up to the reader’s interpretation or can be easily solved by listening to the audiobook.
Have you read Amanda or Cyrus’s poetry collections? Share in the comments!