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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  295 ratings  ·  73 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 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  295 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Julia Sapphire
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.
moon of pages
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
3,5 stars, this is a hard one to rate.

I didn’t really ‘like’ the first part, I didn’t necessarily personally relate to the second part, but it felt very personal from the writer’s perspective and I really appreciated that. I loved the third part, so that’s why it’s hard to give this an overall rating for me.

It deals with important overall messages, but it also felt like something really personal from the writer and it was written in a beautiful way.
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 belo
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
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If I could I'd give this book thousand stars because five ain't enough.

I've been reading and loving modern poetry for quite some time now, and I've read enough modern poetry so I can say this with 100% certainty, I've never in my life felt a poetry book as I've felt this one. I was never left with so many emotions, thoughts and feeling as I was while reading this book.

So many times in my life I've felt lost, I didn't know who I was, who I am or who I'm even supposed to be. I was bullied and I wa
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, f
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.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
"writer's block" hit me hard, and "5:30 a.m." is probably one of the sweetest things I've ever read. ...more
Michelle Emma
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love the theme of masking/unmasking. So very relatable. I especially loved the poem titled “the cleansing” (because holy shit, I’ve experienced that exact thing). Thank you for this lovely masterpiece. 4.5 stars.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another great collection from Cyrus Parker. I'm once again glad this pro-wrestler tunred to poetry! ...more
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 diff
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. Masquerade is 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 ¼ of Cyrus' latest poetry collection, I could tell just how much they had gro
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
Ankita Singh
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-books, arcs
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 wonde
Pretty Little Bibliophile
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-poetry
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 t
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 wa ...more
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
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
Mar 19, 2019 added it
Shelves: arcs, 2019
"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 forw
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Parker Lee (formerly known as Cyrus Parker) is a non-binary poet and storyteller, as well as the author of multiple collections of poetry, including their latest, coffee days whiskey nights. Hailing from a small coastal town in New Jersey alongside wife and poetess amanda lovelace―as well as their three cats―Parker can almost always be found at home, not writing when they should be, drinking too m ...more

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“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.” 3 likes
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 belong.”
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