Tuesday, 1 June 2021

๐Ÿ“– Publication Day Review ~ My Love Life and Other Disasters by Josa Keyes


 ๐Ÿ“– Happy Publication Day ๐Ÿ“–

Keyes Content Ltd

1 June 2021

My thanks to the author for the copy of this book

My Love Life & Other Disasters is a collection of recent poems by Josa Keyes (formerly known as Josa Young). Written before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the poems explore the strangeness of isolation, complex variations of grief, the idiosyncrasies of modern dating and other snapshots of life both funny and sad. Josa Keyes performs her poetry regularly in London and elsewhere.

To celebrate its Publication Day

I'm delighted to able to share an exclusive poem today

Bird of Paradise

In their dating profiles
Human males afflict us
With selfies featuring urinals
Off-kilter up-nose poses
The tragic cliche that exposes
A lack of interest in giving joy.
Never has the divide between
The sexes seemed so wide.
The bird of paradise in contrast
Goes all out to catch the female's eye
Not for this gorgeous fellow
Greying T-shirts, cycling lycra
Ill-fitting wedding gear, something
With a stain. No, these chaps go
To endless pains to please their
Prospects. Elaborate plumage,
Bobs and swoops and pirouettes.
Stamping, if you can call an action
By that tiny foot such a forceful word.
The drab and cryptic girls just watch
And choose, based on his vigour
And the health of gorgeous feathers
That amplify his tiny nethers.
Men on dating apps could learn a lotia
From riflebird, sicklebill and parotia.

My thoughts..

Poetry is personal. If you merely scribble down a few words for your own personal reflection, or if, like Josa Keyes, you produce a comprehensive body of work, you still leave a little bit of your soul in the words you use to reflect your mood at the time of writing. 

My Love Life and Other Disasters is a well thought out bunch of poems, some of which were written during the COVID-19 pandemic whilst others were written before but collectively they all create a mood and a subtle ambiance which reflects life, and love, in all of its many guises.

The sixty poems which make up this collection range in length and intensity, some are made up of  just a few lines, whilst others are longer, some made me smile, like the nod towards Thomas Wyatt and Dylan Thomas, others made me nod my head in wry acknowledgement, and some, like A First Son, broke my heart into a million pieces. 

As I mentioned at the start, poetry is personal and I think in My Love Life and Other Disasters the author has poured her heart and soul into eloquently expressing her thoughts and emotions which sometimes feel raw and exposed. She writes very well, I've read her  novels, so I know how good a wordsmith she is, but in this collection I see a vulnerability and a letting down of defences,  and all credit to the author for letting us, the reader, glimpse a little bit of her soul in this thought-provoking poetry collection.

In this time of pandemic I think we are all searching for something to make sense of what has happened and, in fact, what is still happening in our world, and, I think, that  having a conduit for our emotions is therapeutic and in some instances can be life affirming.

My Love Life and Other Disasters is published and available from today.

Josa Keyes (formerly Young) is a journalist, novelist, poet and content designer living in London. She has held senior editorial positions at Vogue and the Times, and other glossies and broadsheets. Her first novel, One Apple Tasted, was published by Elliot & Thompson in 2009. Her second, Sail Upon the Land, was long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Award in 2015. My Love Life & Other Disasters is her first poetry collection. With a BA from Cambridge, she took her Master's in Creative Writing at Brunel in 2019, supervised by Bernardine Evaristo. She achieved distinction and won the Arts & Humanities Faculty dissertation prize. She has been performing her poetry regularly in London since 2016.

Twitter @JosaKeyes

Instagram @Josa.Keyes

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