Mailbox Monday #749

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has its own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Emma, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

My Dear Comrades by Sunu P. Chandy from Literary Hill BookFest for Gaithersburg Book Festival consideration.

In this poetry collection, Sunu P. Chandy includes stories about her experiences as a woman, civil rights attorney, parent, partner, daughter of South Asian immigrants, and member of the LGBTQ community. These poems cover themes ranging from immigration, social justice activism, friendship loss, fertility challenges, adoption, caregiving, and life during a pandemic. Sunu’s poems provide some resolve, some peace, some community, amidst the competing notions of how we are expected to be in the world, especially when facing a range of barriers. Sunu’s poems provide company for many who may be experiencing isolation through any one of these experiences and remind us that we are not, in fact, going it alone. Whether the experience is being disregarded as a woman of color attorney, being rejected for being queer, losing a most treasured friendship, doubting one’s romantic partner or any other form of heartbreak, Sunu’s poems highlight the human requirement of continually starting anew. These poems remind us that we can, and we will, rebuild.

Yours, Creature by Jessica Cuello for Gaithersburg Book Festival consideration.

Yours, Creature is composed of epistolary poems in the voice of Mary Shelley. Often written as missives to her famous literary mother, Wollstonecraft, the poems address months, years, and her own monstrous creation as they contend with exile, transience, and desire. These poems ask us to imagine the physical elements of Shelley’s existence in language that is both luminous and visceral. This is not a book that simply recreates a past, but one that transcends time as it threads together the loss and violence that history has asked women to suppress. The poems recognize the unspoken pairing of scarcity and creation; they explore how the monstrous is born out of rejection. Yours, Creature responds to a literary and historical narrative, but the poems exist as lyric, singing of the pleasure of creation and its transformative power.

What did you receive?