Terrible Blooms

Terrible Blooms

In this lush, disturbing second collection from APR/Honickman Prize winner Melissa Stein, exquisite images are salvaged from harm and survival. Set against the natural world's violence―both ordinary and sublime―pain shines jewel-like out of these poems, illuminating what lovers and families conceal. Stein uses her gifts for persona and lyric richness to build worlds that a...

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Title:Terrible Blooms
Author:Melissa Stein
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Edition Language:English

Terrible Blooms Reviews

  • Julia Cirignano

    Thank you to Copper Canyon Press for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Reading Terrible Blooms by Melissa Stein feelings like reading a diary. It’s not perfect, but once I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down. Stein’s poetry feels like a natural flow of thoughts; one idea blending into another, creating one fantastic phenomena. This is especially evident in “Seven Minutes in Heaven”.

    I have many other favorite poems within this collection, such as “blessings”,

    Thank you to Copper Canyon Press for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Reading Terrible Blooms by Melissa Stein feelings like reading a diary. It’s not perfect, but once I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down. Stein’s poetry feels like a natural flow of thoughts; one idea blending into another, creating one fantastic phenomena. This is especially evident in “Seven Minutes in Heaven”.

    I have many other favorite poems within this collection, such as “blessings”, where she uses wonderfully abstract imagery, a strength throughout this collection. In her poem “Crush”, the author explores the importance of innocence. I truly enjoyed this authentic interpretation of a coming-of-age poem.

    Have you ever read a poem titled “Portrait of my family as a pack of cigarettes”? Well now you can! Enjoy this whimsical poem, as well as “Quarry” (as seen on page 57, there are three poems with this title), a poem that starts off warm, and takes a dark turn at the end.

    “Slap” explores a concept I myself have found intriguing for a while now; the idea that a writer might have a lover who doesn’t understand poetry. Stein then talks about the inevitable imperfection of sex in “Wormhole”.

    Another one of my favorite poems in this collection, is “Montgomery Inn”, a poem truly summed up in the lines,

    “I can’t remember what I drank—

    chardonnay? Vodka concoction? Champagne?—

    but I took off early in my Corolla

    and swerved home blasting Joy Division

    and the Cure. I was twenty-four

    and heading soon to graduate school

    to get three thousand miles away

    and write some poems and learn

    to hike the California hills and have

    anxiety attacks”

    This collection of poetry is honest and raw, which inevitably means there are some flaws. While some of the flaws I genuinely enjoyed, the one criticism I have, is that there were some poems that didn’t do much for me. They felt like filler poems to make the book longer, and fell flat for me in comparison to the others that truly struck a chord.

    Besides that, this collection was a joy to read. One of the biggest compliments I can give a book, is that it inspired me to write, which is something that I’m proud to say this book did.

    Terrible Blooms is due to be released on April 18th, 2018!

  • Chris Roberts

    Poetry is not supposed to make sense,

    the mind implodes, reloads, buffaloes fly in the eye,

    shattered, scattered, the brain once mattered, sound is sight,

    your glance is a dance, insatiable thirst, one-third first,

    die is why we live.

    I have twisted art

    and sculpted love away from the heart.

    The earth is flat and we're all going to die.

    A tin can has a more profound, cosmic view than any poet (except me).

    Chris Roberts, God of Tuesday

  • Melissa Stein

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