Poems Shed Light on Life #Thursday Book Feature

Neoteny: Poems

by Emily K. Michael

Copyright 2019.

 

What Amazon Says

 

A lively and imaginative debut, Neoteny explores blindness, family, and birdsong. In these poems, Emily K. Michael meditates on literary and personal heroes like Jo March, her beloved grandmother, and her guide dog. This collection is rich with treasures from childhood — the honey-colored piano Michael played, the fig tree in her front yard and the trays of fresh mint drying on her grandmother’s table. The poems move between a child mind and an adult’s perspective as Michael contemplates the rich emotional power of commonplace objects and the way her own blindness complicates everyday situations. Poems like “In This One” and “I Say Yes” take the reader into the domestic moments of young romance while “Deficiencies,” and “Wood Thrush” invite readers to disappear in wonder for the wild world.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Michael weaves local sounds and spaces into her work. “Anniversary in St. Augustine” is the story of a couple’s private tour of historical landmarks, while “Ajeen” captures the quiet of a deserted street deep in hurricane season. “Trading Threes” and “Encore” welcomes local birds onto the page as Michael immortalizes the sounds of mockingbirds and cardinals.

Though Neoteny is an uplifting collection, Michael confesses the difficulties she experiences as a blind poet in a sighted world. In “Small Hours,” she asks readers to wonder just how important their vision really is, and in “Blindness Locked Me Out,” she catalogues the situations where her disability relegated her to the sidelines. “Natural Compliance” maps the challenge of exploring the wilderness with a white cane and wheelchair. And “A Phenomenology of Blindness” is Michael’s resounding answer to the common questions about how blindness works. To those who think Michael is seeking a cure, she offers “Faith,” a poem that examines how healing really works.

Neoteny also pays tribute to the poets Michael loves. “Practice” is Michael’s nod to CD Wright’s “Lake Echo, Dear” and “Antiphon for Emily” is her song for Emily Dickinson. Neoteny opens on “I Begin to Understand Jo March,” a finalist for the 2018 Atlantis Award. The final poem is “Cello,” first published in Artemis Journal and later included in Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital’s Poems in the Waiting Room. Poems from this collection have also appeared in Wordgathering, Nine Mile Magazine, The Fem, Saw Palm, The Deaf Poets Society, Rogue Agent, and The South Carolina Review.

 

My Thoughts

 

I don’t recommend starting this collection on an empty stomach. The author’s descriptions of delectable delights in “Ajeen” and other poems about food at the beginning will make your mouth water, and you’ll abandon any plans to enjoy some poetry before lunch. But if you download the Audible version, you can eat and read poetry simultaneously if you wish.

I love the way Emily Michael narrates her own poetry here. The piano interlude at the end gives the production a nice touch. I could identify with “Blindness Locked Me Out” and her poems about playing music and attending concerts. I also appreciate how she tells us what being blind is not. This collection isn’t just about blindness. Even if you are experiencing vision loss, it will enlighten you on a variety of topics.

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By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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TMI Tuesday February 25th, 2020

Hello. Welcome. Do tell because it is TMI Tuesday!

 

  1. What time of the day do you feel the most energetic, and what do you usually do in those moments? I have the most energy in the mornings. However, I’ve discovered that if I eat a light supper earlier in the evening, I sleep better at night. When I get a good night’s sleep, I’m often just as energetic in the afternoons as I am in the mornings. I spend my days dealing with email and working on blog posts and other writing projects. I also attend water exercise classes at the YMCA three days a week and occasionally entertain at nursing homes and other senior facilities.
  2. What’s the coolest thing about your life? That would be the fact that I’m the author of five books with a sixth one in progress. My stories and poems have been published in The Weekly Avocet, Magnets and Ladders, and other publications. To learn more about me and my work, click here.
  3. When are you most yourself? Although I enjoy going out, I’m most myself when I’m at home, either working at my computer or relaxing in my recliner.
  4. Would you rather be an ugly genius or a hot moron? I’m not sure I want to be either. I’m happy as I am.
  5. Would you abandon your phone, Internet, family, and friends for three months for a prize of 1 million dollars? Never! All those things are important to me. Besides, what would I do with a million dollars?

Bonus: If you could wave a magic wand right now and have your life be perfect, what would that new life look like? The perfect life would be one where I could see well enough to drive and maintain my own home without assistance. But there are worse things in life than being visually impaired. So, I’m not going to complain.

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If you’d like to participate in TMI Tuesday, click here and follow the instructions. If you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to leave your answers to any or all these questions in the comment field below. Any way you do it, I look forward to reading your responses. Thank you for stopping by today.

 

as

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Happiness #Re-Blog #Thursday Book Feature

Today, I decided to rummage around in my archives. I found an oldie but goodie from about this time last year. It’s a review of a memoir about how a little brother saved his big sister’s life. Enjoy and happy reading.

 

Via Thursday Book Feature: Happiness

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel) #Monday Musical Memories

When I heard this song recently, it was as if my late husband, not Billy Joel, were singing it to me. At the end, he says, “Someday your child may cry and if you sing this lullabye…” Well, I’m too old to have children, but maybe I’ll sing it to someone else’s child. Who knows? Anyway, enjoy Billy Joel’s lullabye and know that our lost loved ones will always be a part of us.

 

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Wednesday Words Poetry Challenge: Life and Try (Synonyms Only)

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge inspired me to write the following. I know a haiku is supposed to be about nature, but even for those of us who aren’t birds, it’s natural to spread our wings and try new things. You’ll note that I’m using the synonyms “attempting” and “existence.” This poem emphasizes what I told nursing home residents when encouraging them to participate in new activities. You don’t know until you try. You can click on the Play button below to hear me read it.

attempting new things
happy with my existence
even in failure

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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