Book Review: We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. by Julie McIsaac

April was Poetry Month and I was lucky enough to win a giveaway organised by Wolsak & Wynn Publishers. I chose the collection written by Julie McIsaac We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. as the blurb sounded interesting and the comments on the cover of the book were positive.

Genre: Poetry


In a powerful combination of prose poems, graphica, lyric poems and lyric essays, Julie McIsaac’s new book is at once fiercely political, intimate and hilarious. We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. is an exploded view of contemporary feminism, sex, loss, beauty myths, self-doubt, psychology, menstruation, resistance, family and love. Intellectually dazzling, emotionally lavish and allergic to bullshit, this is a book that is timely, refreshing and wholly original.

My thoughts:

This collection is divided into the different eras of feminism: from post-activism to the current experience. Mostly the voice of the writing is that of a woman – a rebelling woman, a young woman, a woman who finds herself in a marriage. The few times a man’s voice is used, it is to highlight the way in which women are often viewed.

There were a few poems that I enjoyed in the collection. They spoke to my experience and I understood them. I got the references to women’s lives and the symbols the poet had used. However, there were many more pieces that I did not understand, or see what she was referring to. The words made no sense to me no matter how many times I read them. McIsaac’s writing will not reach everybody as not all readers will grasp what it is she is saying. I do feel that this is an unfortunate downfall of the collection.

I was a little disappointed when I opened the book to see that not all pieces are poetry. Many pieces are prose – and a couple are written as a screenplay. Some of the graphics make an interesting addition to the collection. However, the repetition of one particular graphic did annoy me and was, I believe, a little overdone.

Even though I enjoyed reading some of the pieces in We Like Feelings. We Are Serious. the pieces I did not understand or get the references to ruined my overall impression of the book.

I give this poetry collection ⭐️⭐️ 2 stars.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 36th in my book pledge for 2019)

A Poem by Julie McIsaac

I was fortunate to win a giveaway for National Poetry Month held by Wolsak & Wynn Publishers. I chose to receive the poetry collection written by Julie McIsaac.

Many of the pieces encourage me to think – about what has been written, and about how the poem reflects my own experience. I share one of the pieces with you:

“They took the bus downtown and when they arrived they sat next to a great fountain. They threw pennies in and made wishes. Then they clipped their hair and planted it in the dirty weeds that sprouted through the concrete next to where the fountain was built. They made more wishes. They thought future. She said nothing. (p14, Wolsak & Wynn, 2018)

The pieces in this collection are definitely raw and to the point. I still have many to read and know that they will not be easy reading.

What do you think of the extract I shared?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Book Review: Magic in the Backyard by Kellie Elmore

MagicintheBackyard Flat Revision 3I cannot remember how I came across Kellie Elmore, a writer who expresses her emotions and experiences in poetic imagery. The words I read on her blog enticed me to log onto and purchase her first poetry collection Magic in the Backyard.

On receiving my copy, I took it with me to read while my children were at their swimming lessons. I began reading and thought “Wow!”, “This is beautiful.”, “I love this description.”, “No, this is better.” I devoured this collection in one sitting as I would a bar of Swiss chocolate: savouring each phrase, each expressed emotion that awoke the forgotten emotions and expressions slumbering in my mind. I have read the poems again and see in my mind’s eye the Kellie within these words as she describes the place in which she grew up, and the people that she loved.

I would recommend this collection to any reader who enjoys reading poetry that creates images in your mind. Her skill in creating images is exquisite and encourages one to turn the page and read another.

Do you enjoy reading poetry?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013