Book Review | The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy


The Bees is a collection of poetry by Carol Ann Duffy writing as Poet Laureate. It’s a collection about politics, war, and, of course, bees.

Nowadays, bees are becoming a symbol of global warming. The threats of them dying out and their genocide destroying our planet is very real, and I think that Duffy really evokes this idea of death and the destruction death can bring in this novel.

Continue reading “Book Review | The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy”

My Favourite Autumnal Books For All Kinds Of Readers

It’s autumn for real now, and I’m so excited. Autumn is my favourite season, and I love nothing more than curling up with a book, a thick jumper, and a mug of coffee.

Image result for autumn
photo: wikipedia // someone35 

To get into the spirit, I thought I would share 5 books that you can cosy up with and get totally lost in this autumn.

If you fancy a bit of murder, read… Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – okay so this isn’t as autumnal as, say, Sleeping Murder, but it’s just so classic and easily the best Christie I’ve read so far! You will get completely sucked in, and the ending is by far the best bit. The perfect way to spend a few hours when it’s rainy and thundery outside. Continue reading “My Favourite Autumnal Books For All Kinds Of Readers”

Poetry Review | Honeybee by Trista Mateer

36206132In this poetry collection, Trista Mateer explores heartbreak, love, loss, and walking away. Honeybee is a memoir in verse, collecting snapshots from a time of ripples in one poet’s life. 

I really liked the style of Mateer’s poetry, and I think that for that reason, Honeybee and I resonated fairly well together.

The topic of heartbreak has been one that poets have written about for centuries, but Mateer’s situation was entirely unique, because she was the one who walked away. This book explores how her own experience with leaving still affected the heartbreak that both sides of the relationship experienced, and I think it’s a side I don’t often read about in poetry, because normally the one who is left is the one who writes the sad poems.

I feel like I wasn’t in quite the emotional state to connect to anything truly (probably didn’t help I read like 75% of this in the doctors’ waiting room), but I did feel it. Mateer pours her whole heart into these poems about her ex and I think that for her, it was probably a really cathartic exercise to do.

A lot of time was really spent writing about her ex, though, and it was quite overwhelming. Obviously a poet should be separated from their poetry in terms of autobiographicalness unless they say it’s an autobiography, but some of what Mateer said surprised me. Even though she was in a new relationship (both sides of the couple), Mateer was still writing very emotive poetry which, if I were reading it as this girl, I would find it a little…. close? maybe? is that the right word? Whichever word, I hope you get the gist – even after one year, two years, Mateer still seemed to be pining for this girl despite being in a new relationship.

I kind of get it, I do, having gone through a difficult break up a year and a half or so ago, but I don’t think I could write this type of poetry about that person now. I miss them sometimes, yes, but I think to write this deeply about them… that’s a whole other level, and despite the fact I was thoroughly enjoying the beautiful phrases Mateer strung together, I was still slightly reserved from the poems, trying to remove myself from how I was feeling at the back of my head the entire time.

Honeybee is a poem about breakup, but not all breakups. Whilst I didn’t -connect-, I could feel the pain that was poured into these poems. From a stylistic point of view, these poems were 100% my cup of tea. I loved Mateer’s writing style, and will definitely be looking to read more of her books in the future. I especially enjoyed how the titles of the poems seemed to almost be another line. Mateer didn’t put a word down without a reason for doing it.

Overall, I think that this was a book Mateer needed to write, but not necessarily one I felt needed to be published. I think that her writing is, honestly, stunning and engrossing, but I felt a little uncomfortable reading it, as I was looking at it from both perspectives: Mateer’s, and the person she left. It’s unfortunate that I had this ticking voice in the back of my mind, otherwise I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. However, I still gave this book a fairly good rating, because I feel like the writing truly deserves it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Personal source: sent as an eARC from NetGalley. As always, opinions are entirely my own.

If you liked this, you might also enjoy… milk and honey by Rupi Kaur 

Image result for milk and honey

Book Review | The Night is Darkening Round Me by Emily Brontë

24874353A collection of some of Emily Brontë’s most emotive and incredible poems. 

This poetry collection was a really incredible thing to read in the morning! The night is darkening round me is actually one of my favourite poems, so to have it in a book on my shelf finally is awesome!

Most of these poems are about death and depression, and I think for a little collection like this I would have liked more variety because she wrote some really beautiful poems about nature and not all of them are dark! I also would have liked all of them named or none of the named, but that’s just my personal preference!

The collection is really emotive. I really connected to Emily through some of the words that she wrote, and I think that it’s incredible what she has left behind. I actually annotated the book at one point, and wrote something along the lines of, “When she wrote these, did she know that in hundreds of years in the future someone would be reading them?”

All of the Brontë’s are awesome writers, and I love having a collection of Emily’s poems – now it’s time to move onto some of the other sisters! (Oh, and it’s contested that one of the poems in this minute collection might be Charlotte’s, which was a really interesting observation. I like that people obviously selected these poems, as opposed to just chucking them between two black and white covers.)

The Night is Darkening Round Me is #63 in the Little Black Classics collection. 

Rating: 4/5

Source: bought at a store. Perhaps Jarrolds?

Book Review | Stranger, Baby by Emily Berry

DSC_0252Stranger, Baby is a book of poetry by up-and-coming poet Emily Berry. In this collection, a mixture of poetry, play, and prose, Berry has a sense of fantasy, humour, estrangement. Berry digs deep into her past of childhood loss and dedicates this book to her mother. A book of mourning, exhilaration and the ocean: ‘A meditation on a want that can never be answered.’ 

It took me a while to get into this book of poetry. Berry is a writer of wonder. She writes wonderfully, but I don’t really read much poetry like this. Continue reading “Book Review | Stranger, Baby by Emily Berry”

Book Review | The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace (and a discussion of “Tumblr” poetry)

32334098the princess
the damsel
the queen
& you. 

Amanda Lovelace explores love, loss, healing, empowerment, forgetting, and remembering in this debut collection of poems. Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Poetry 2016, her poems have touched hearts across the world. 

Sooooooo…. I have mixed feelings about this book. Continue reading “Book Review | The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace (and a discussion of “Tumblr” poetry)”

The Surprise of Poetry

e26397c7fe425a5a91b89fa5e4d92929Before I came to university, I didn’t write much poetry. I’d been writing more in the past year or so of A-Levels, but before then I had written maybe one or two poems. They were all terrible. As in, I don’t have them anymore, they were strings of words strung together in no real sense, terrible. Or sometimes they were flat prose in poem form (which is probably worse than just flat prose).  Continue reading “The Surprise of Poetry”

Tips on Poetry Writing

I’m going to own up here and say that I’m terrible at writing poetry, so this is stuff that I’ve learnt through observation. Seeing as this weekend is Remembrance Day, and a lot of poetry has been written about war, I thought it would be helpful if you are wanting to write some.

  • Choose a theme and stick to it. It’s not a novel (unless it’s an epic poem); most poems aren’t longer than a side of A4. You can’t change your theme half way through and expect it to make sense. Of course, it can be part of more than one theme (eg a love poem about war).
  • Choose a style. Is it a limerick? Rhyming couplets? Sestets? Or just free verse? Look up some poetry styles and pick the one you like.
  • Write first. Edit later. This is true for any writing, but if you write a novel you might quickly edit a paragraph or two before moving onto the next section. Don’t do that with poetry; often, the words will flow. If you don’t like something, do an enter and rewrite it, but make sure you keep what’s already been written; you might want to use it later.
  • Write from the heart. There’s a reason you don’t get given poetry to write in exams; exams are structured, organised, well-thought out, planned. Poetry is more…now, I don’t want to say ‘wishy washy’ because that implies it’s… I don’t know what it implies, but I’m hoping you know what I mean. Perhaps ‘dreamlike’ is the better word. It’s written from the heart, sometimes fairly rapidly, even if it takes weeks after to get it to perfection.
  • Don’t be afraid to say something. People view poetry as different to prose – prose means that, whilst you can be daring, you can’t be too daring. Poetry is different: you can say a lot in a little, and it can’t be proved. If there’s something you disagree with, write it in poetry (likewise with just about anything else).
  • Say a lot in a little. Prose is thousands of words – poetry is pushing for 200. Use similes, metaphors, whatever, to make your readers know what you’re talking about (or, indeed, have their own view) in very little words.

Remember, poetry is something personal; you don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to.

Have fun writing your poems; I’d love to read any!

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 


Are you on the right track, or is your train/story gonna beat you up?


Camp NaNoWriMo has begun, and that means that all over the world, writers are furiously typing away at their computers, probably with demonic expressions and clasping half-empty coffee mugs in their hands (or should that be red, pointy tails?).

When NaNo starts, some people know exactly what they’re doing. These are the organised ones. But, unfortunately, they are few and scattered. This post, my friend, is not for you (although this Camp I am one – I have to be, scripts are hella harder than I thought). But you can read it anyway ’cause it will, no doubt, still apply. This post is for the Pantsers out there (gimme a holla in the back; yes, you with the pretty pink laptop).

First: are you a Pantser? If you’re writing this with no flippin’ clue where you’re going, then yeah, you’re a Pantser. Easy answer, eh?

Pantsers are great, they’re so free and easy. But what happens if you’ve started your book/new Odyssey/script/non-fiction/are editing, and realise, perhaps, that this isn’t quite for you?

  • Give up. This is the easiest one of them all, but it’ll haunt you for the rest of your life; you’ll constantly have nightmares of Thomas the Tank Engine beating you at a fist-fight. Guaranteed.
  • Start anew. This is also easy, but takes time and effort, especially if you’ve already got pretty far. Also, your old characters may haunt you like Thomas. Thomas doesn’t like to be abandoned; especially by Percy.

Ok, I’m going to stop comparing your NaNo story to Thomas the Tank Engine, ’cause, quite frankly, it’s freaking me out. On with the list…

  • Imagine the worst situation you could possibly get your characters into. Then do it. No doubt this’ll stir up something fun that’ll give you juice for the next 10 pages or so.
  • Imagine the best situation you could possible get your characters into, then change it to the worst. 
  • Alright, keep it at the best. I understand everyone isn’t as horrible as me. And good things can give you material, too. Don’t be afraid to be nice to your characters (just only do it occasionally, otherwise there’s no fun in being a writer).
  • Ask someone else for their opinion. I get it, I get it, you don’t wanna share your idea with anyone. So find someone you trust and try it! Maybe a teacher. Parent? Friend? Even the dog can give a good answer if you give them biscuits (bark for yes, eat for no…).
  • Just keep writing and see where you end up. This will probably get you into a spot of writers block, but it is very fun. Don’t be afraid not to try it. You might find something interesting.

If all else fails, make a list of things to do in your novel, pick a few and try them out. You could end up with 5 different stories with the same starting bit, but eh, that’s NaNo, right?

Good luck my fellow Wrimos. You’ll do great! 

Questions, comments, thoughts? Shoot! 😀 

To Emily

Hi Guys! Sorry for not posting, I’ve been ill and busy. 😦 But here’s a poem for my friend Emily, sorry if you don’t like it/it’s bad.


You may not always be with me,

But I know you’re always there,

‘Cause you’re my best mate, Emi

And you know I’ll always care.


Like the vibrating dildo guy

And the chalky water trauma,

Our friendship has had its ups and downs

But we sail through the rough waters.


We may have different OTPs,

Perhaps the fandoms, too;

And we sometimes have our differences,

But remember that I’ll always love you!


Is it that bad? :3

You can also read it here on Wattpad. 🙂 Vote, perhaps? :3

Also, guys: this is my 40th post! Yay, look how far I’ve come! Thanks for all of your support, lots of love. 😛

Hannah 🙂