Review: 27, With A White Lighter by Jennifer Juan
I was very excited to be given the chance to review this soon-to-be-released poetry collection from Jennifer Juan as I am a huge fan of poetry in general (both reading it and writing it). And, after reading the press release, I was intrigued to dive in and find out more…
About Jennifer Juan (excerpt from artist’s press kit)…
Jennifer Juan is a cultural melting pot of an artist. She is a writer, a musician, a producer, a film maker and a podcast host, currently residing in the Kent countryside, but dreaming of the ocean. A tornado of darkness and delicacy, Juan creates engaging and powerful projects, using a variety of mediums and platforms, each dripping with her signature playful, yet powerful style of writing.
A bit of background to 27, With A White Lighter…
This is Juan’s fifth major collection and, in her own words, is ‘the most open and honest I’ve ever been’. This collection of contemporary poetry covers themes as varied as love and romance, the meaning of life, drugs, sexuality, Brexit, and lots more besides…
Number of Poems in the Collection: 40
Publication Date: 3 December 2018 (available to pre-order)
I found Juan’s poetry to be relatable and deeply personal and the diverse subjects covered will be familiar to most readers… But if you are fan of romantic, sugar-coated poetry, then this is perhaps not the collection for you! This is hard-hitting and honest and you can feel Juan’s angst seeping through frequently whilst reading many of these poems, such as 27, With A White Lighter and Melody to name but two.
If I was forced to pick, I think my two favourite poems from 27, With A White Lighter are Home At Last and Summer Sun.
I enjoyed Home At Last because it just rang so true – it could easily have been me writing this about my battered hopes and dreams… and that is what I love about this book of poems overall – that it deals with issues that could and do affect all of us at some time in our lives in a very powerful and poignant way.
Excerpt from Home At Last:
the very last of those girls,
down the royal roads,
to imagine our lives could be whatever we
slumped against the serene screen of where I
and imagined my life could be whatever I
and I dream,
hoping I get right this time.
And Summer Sun… well, what can I say? We’ve all been there and felt the heartache of a break-up at least once, haven’t we? And this poem captures the anger and pain we’ve all felt at that point in our lives…
Excerpt from Summer Sun:
It’s not your fault,
if I said yes,
thinking it could last forever,
but I’ll always hate you,
just as much as I love you,
for being so close,
with the setting sun.
To sum up, this is not another book of hard to fathom, out of reach poetry – Juan’s language is accessible and the poems are about the here and now, about contemporary subjects that we are all familiar with and that, to me, is its big appeal. So if you enjoy raw, hard-hitting poetry, make sure you check out this collection when it’s released next month – I promise you won’t be disappointed!
MY RATING: (5 / 5)
27, With a White Lighter will be available exclusively on Amazon (as both a book and an ebook) on 3 December 2018… And, in the meantime, if you want to find out more about the poet and her previous work, please visit her website at JenniferJuan.com.
Do you enjoy reading poetry and, if so, does this sound like your kind of thing? Let me know in the comments below…
*I received a preview copy of 27, With a White Lighter to review but all opinions expressed are my own.