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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Non-binary poet Cyrus Parker returns with an all-new collection of poetry and prose dedicated to those struggling to find their own identity in a world that often forces one into the confines of what’s considered “socially acceptable.”

Divided into three parts and illustrated by Parker, masquerade grapples with topics such as the never-ending search for acceptance, gender
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  177 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Julia Sapphire
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

I quite enjoyed this collection, I was not surprised considering I enjoyed Parker's last collection as well. Masquerade is beautiful and deals with so many touching and important topics. Such as self-esteem, non-binary topics, dysphoria, fear, pain, witchcraft a bit, etc. Overall I was really impressed, I read this with my boyfriend and we both enjoyed the beautiful writing and metaphors. The illustrations were also a perfect touch. Looking forward to whatever Parker releases in the
Amy (libraryofamy)
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
”I’ve tried digging up the corpses,
and piercing their bones back together
and spitting out their skeletons, but
I kept choking on the graveyard dirt.”

This was pretty good! I picked it up out of the blue and enjoyed it.

It’s very personal, and the writing style was lovely. There were some of your run-of-the-mill modern poetry clichés, but overall it was a strong collection!
Alyssa Marie
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-poetry
If you read one poetry book, I’d recommend this one.

Normally with poetry it’s always a struggle with rating and reviewing because it’s so personal and it can be hard to feel like you’re connecting with what the author is saying. But this one was an instant connection with me. I absolutely love Cyrus’s way of writing. They have this instant way of sucking me in and truly making me feel as if I’m going through it with them. This entire time I was actually nodding my head in agreement and saying “
Jessica C Writes
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
*received an ARC on netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

This collection is so real, so honest. It went above and beyond my expectations, and each poem touched me. Cyrus is an amazing poem, and I will continue to support their work. The writing is beautiful, and I could not get enough. Highly recommend this to all poetry fans.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a beautiful book inside and out.
These poems are so relatable and understandable to me as a person and so many others around me.
So many of the poems within this book have reached inside me an embraced my heart in a hug that says - see your not alone.
Thank you for such a beautiful, deeply moving book of poems, I will re-read this book for a very long time.
Dana Cristiana
I would love to thank Cyrus Parker, Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a good -but not excellent- poetry book. I didn't find myself in all of the poems, but there were some that were amazing. Let me show you:


I was a piece of a puzzle
lost in the box of another.
no matter where you tried to put me,
which way you tried to turn me,
there wasn't a place for me in the big
picture, and i got tired of trying to fit
into places i didn't
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
It really was important for me to read these poems, I needed to hear these things and I hope lots of other people will want to pick this book and connect with it like I did.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cyrus Parker’s Masquerade is a collection of inspiring vulnerability. Broken down into three parts, Parker focuses on issues of childhood, discovery of self, gender dysphoria, relationships with family, exes, their current relationship, and finally, societal expectations. I love this framework. We go from very introspective, very personal, and slowly zoom out to others and then society. The vulnerability sucks you in and the need to understand keeps you going as a reader.
Parker’s own drawings
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—

Edgar A. Poe

This was at the start of this beautiful collection. Gender identity is - deservedly! - a hot issue. Please do not be scared away from Masquerade if it is not your issue. It is not exactly mine either (although it is of friends of mine, and from that angle I always want to know more
-received an ARC on netgalley-

Cyrus Parker's Masquerade poetry collection, is inspiring and honest! I enjoyed reading it so much and I feel priviledged that I had this opportunity! It is a very well written collection and it touched me deeply. A lot of times I felt like he was in my head writing about things I could not find the right way to talk about. I hope I will read more of his work in the future.

"they will be missing the bits of me that you took"

Favorite poems: skull kid, misconception,
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
actual rating: 4.5 stars!

this is the first poetry collection by cyrus parker that i've read, and i'm so glad that i finally read something by them! some of these poems are very relatable for me, while others are very thought-provoking. nonetheless, i enjoyed them all.

Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a raw, heartbreaking and tender poetry collection I wish a lot of people should read. I also liked the illustrations.
Nicole Jade
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Completely superb follow up to DROPKICKromance. Omg. The beautiful savagery and honesty. Just thank you.
Gigi Grant
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Honestly one of the best poetry books I've read. Not much to say other than this is the only poet who can get me to cry.
Alicia Cook
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
the glow UP is REAL!
Lisa Marie
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
[Thank you for NetGalley for providing the advance ebook in exchange for an honest review]
Book 2 of poetry for April Poetry Month (I want to see how many books of poems I can read this month)

Poetry: 5 stars
Drawings/images: 3 stars
Overall: 4 stars
I came across this book and read the description and thought that it would be a very interesting book to read for the topic because of the way that the topic is changing for even students (and I have been in the work place with students who have had
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
One thing that I absolutely adore about Cyrus Parker is that they list content/trigger warnings for their readers. As someone who has gone through some of the the events detailed, it's important to know whats coming. Masqueradeis noted to contain the following (but it is possible that there are more triggers): abandonment, alcohol use, death, gender dysphoria, harassment, and intimate partner abuse.

After reading about of Cyrus' latest poetry collection, I could tell just how much they had grown
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this poetry collection! It was such a pleasant surprise! I've slowly been getting into poetry because of the creative writing course I took at uni all about it, so I was really excited to pick this up. Which reminds me, I got access to an ARC of this thanks to NetGalley!

One of the things I really enjoyed about this collection was the author's voice. Their voice came across as so soft, almost understated, yet at the same time powerful. Each poem felt like a small, soft punch. I
I received and advanced reading copy on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Overall, this is a good poetry collection. It covers a wide array of topic from personal identity to relationships and it is also illustrated. This goes along the same vein of Amanda Lovelace and Rupi Kaur.

The drawing, sektchy and rough added a lot to my experience. They complemented the peoms beautifully, added breathers inbetween the text and were just as stimulating. In fact, I usually critique such drawings
Ankita Singh
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, netgalley-books
I don't read a lot of poetry, and this was probably the first time I really fell in love with a book from the genre. Masquerade was everything I don't expect poetry books to be for me.

Reading it, I could feel a frisson of what the poet must've felt while writing them. The pain, the desperation, the was all so real. So raw.

I want to applaud the poet for sharing this amazing collection with us. Reading it, I can imagine how personal it must be to them. It takes a lot of courage to share
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way influences my review; all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own.

This was a really powerful poetry collection for me. Divided into three parts, it deals with gender dysphoria, toxic family, love, and finding yourself. Several of the poems in the first part really hit me, especially “dysphoria i” and “dysphoria ii.” I loved the poems in the second part around Amanda (guessing/assuming) because the love in them was
Pretty Little Bibliophile
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I believe that including Poe’s lines in the very beginning is a brilliant stroke in itself. In hindsight, it really says a lot about the poetry the reader will be delving into as she flips the pages.
The poems deal with various topics such as abandonment, alcohol abuse, death, gender dysphoria, harassment, as well as intimate partner abuse, lost innocence, identity, chasing your dream, and the masks that people wear. Self-care also is explicitly stated by the poet to be practiced after reading
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first poetry collection I've read in a very long time. I use to HATE poetry, I loathed it. But as part of my reading goals for this year I wanted to give it another shot since it's been a while. I also didn't want to count it out when I know there is good poetry out there. I picked up this collection on a whim and I was not disappointed. This collection is filled with beautiful, heartwrenching poems. I read many of these poems aloud to my boyfriend because they were just that good! I ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this poetry collection!

Title: Masquerade
Author: Cyrus Parker
Rating: 4 stars
Rep: non-binary author
Trigger/content warnings: right at the start of the book.

Themes: finding yourself and being true to yourself, discovering who you are, abandonment, family, love and relationships, acceptance and identity.
Favourite poems: Misplaced, Normalise, Smokey Eye, Recovery, Nonlinear Equations and October 24, 2017.

Most of the poems centre around
Laura Bailey
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This collection of poetry is deeply personal and strikingly honest, and a really lovely mix of dark and light. Parker does a beautiful job of covering some heavy topics (see the book’s content warning for specifics), and does so with a frank, genuine energy that gets you emotionally invested. The sketches throughout help build the feeling of intimacy, as if you’re reading Parker’s notebook. There are a few running themes throughout ‘Masquerade’- most obviously, the mask- and Parker skillfully ...more
Pamela Scott
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing

(ARC from @AndrewsMcMeel via #netgalley and voluntarily reviewed)

This is my first time reading the poet and it certainly won’t be my last. Masquerade is one of the best poetry collections I’ve read in ages. Every word blew me away. I came out when I was 22 but struggled with my identity and sexuality and sense of self for years and still do sometimes and many of the poems in this collection spoke to me. I love the front cover and the artwork throughout is
Sarah 🌻
Cyrus Parker blows me away yet again with this brand new poetry collection, Masquerade. This collection had a different kind of vulnerability that the other collection, DROPKICKromance did not have. Although I did love his first collection, I can see the growth that Cyrus has made professionally as an author, and as a person. I feel like this collection really illustrated what it is like to feel like when you don’t fit into the box society has put you in, and the overwhelming realization that ...more
Mar 19, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2019, arcs
"you were always meant to be your own universe."

Cyrus Parker explores the struggle of being unapologetically yourself in a world that seeks to mold you into a more acceptable image. Pretending to be someone you are not will never change who you ultimately are. Masquerade shows the journey Cyrus went through to accept himself for who he is. This was my first experience with this author's work and I requested this one because I am a fan of the writer's wife, Amanda Lovelace. I definitely look
Coco Harris
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved so much of this book! The poetry was lovely and utterly moving. Perfect for those who are finding their own identity in a society that loves to place people into specified pegs that we simply don't fit inside. Part i & part iii were my favorites. Part ii just felt like the theme of the collection was disrupted and I had a harder time connecting emotionally to the poems in this section, which is the only reason I reduced my star rating. However, I will be buying a copy of this for my ...more
Nathaniel Darkish
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A pretty solid collection of poetry. I particularly enjoyed Parker's first collection, so getting my hands on a NetGalley ARC of this one was exciting. I feel like this collection is a little less raw than the first while still managing to be powerful and deeply personal. I will say that I didn't quite connect with some of the major themes as much as I did with the first collection, but even still I found the poetry emotional and compelling.
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cyrus parker is a pro-wrestler-turned-poet hailing from a small town in new jersey alongside wife and poetess amanda lovelace and their two ragdoll cats, macchiato and rosé. a self-described “big goth kid,” cyrus has an affinity for dark eyeshadow, dark clothes, enamel pins, and dropkicking the gender binary.
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“If they tell you to change who you are, be yourself but even louder.” 1 likes
“the world may reject you today, but with time comes understanding. give it that time, but do not be silent. let every footstep, every word, and every breath be an act of revolution. the world might not be ready for you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not ready to create the tomorrow you deserve.” 1 likes
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