Happy Monday, friends! I hope you’re all having a nice start to your week and are doing your best to keep your spirits high.
I’ve been struggling a lot lately with all that’s going on in our world, as I’m sure many can agree with. Fortunately this weekend, my husband and I were able to go away for three days with our kiddos to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and the time away gave me a chance to emotionally reset and start researching the things I love again—like new book releases!
This isn’t something I’ve blogged about a lot in the past, let alone celebrity-level news or more mainstream-focused moments, but I LOVE tracking new book releases, new authors, new genres for old favorites . . . you name it.
But first, I want to take you all back to the late ’90s with me for a moment.
Does anyone here remember this book??
A Night without Armor came out in 1998, but I didn’t discover it until a few years later, during middle school (I may be “giving my age away” a bit, but whatever—I’m only 32). By that time, I was steeped in creative writing classes, reading poetry and short stories, writing my own pieces, and doing daily sensory-poetic observations à la Henry David Thoreau’s The Journal.
It made TOTAL sense then to want to explore Jewel’s sensitive lyrics and the more lyrically imagistic lines of her poems.
And surely… it makes just as much sense, if for different reasons, for adolescents and adults to lean into Halsey’s collection this fall.
You heard that right: Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter “Halsey” (aka: Ashley Frangipane) is releasing her first poetry collection, I Would Leave Me If I Could from Simon & Schuster in September 2020.
Here’s the lovely cover of this upcoming work:
I came a little late to the party, as I just recently came across Halsey’s music, sometime in 2018. (What’s funny is that I found her through this excellent interview with Billboard from 2015, when I was doing some research on Bipolar Depression for my poetry collection. Talk about serendipity!)
Halsey’s opening hit single, “Ghost,” came out clear back in 2014, and since then, she’s grown an immense Twitter following and Grammy nominations. Halsey has also done a LOT of important work in the discussion of bisexuality, Bipolar disorder (and mental wellness in general), and female sexuality.
Halsey also explores these topics in her music, and she will not be shying away from these subjects in her poetry collection, either. I expect it’s going to be very interesting, lyrical (like her music), edgy, and important to a variety of literary communities.
Songwriters Hall of Fame President and CEO, Linda Moran, observed, “Halsey bares her soul with heart-wrenching, rebellious and complex lyrics that come from a place of creativity and strength where not many songwriters are comfortable going.” Moran clearly has no doubts that Halsey’s words could go mutually far in the literary community.
Stephanie Frerich, executive editor at Simon & Schuster, agrees. Frerich spoke of the 144-page collection: “Poetry infuses everything Halsey does – from music to painting and performing – so it’s hardly a surprise she’s so gifted with verse. We were immediately captivated by her poems the way millions are by her music.”
In the book description of I Would Leave Me If I Could available on the Simon & Schuster website, promises “more hand-grenades than confessions” that collectively “explore and dismantle conventional notions of what it means to be a feminist in search of power.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to seeing this collection hit the shelves, to read it, and see how Halsey approaches the page for the page’s sake, instead of for the sake of musical composition.
I’ll update this in September when the book rolls out!
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