Harry Whitewolf's Reviews > No Apologies

No Apologies by J.A. Carter-Winward
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it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry

I seem to be on a roll of finding exciting new modern poets and, after reading this book, J.A. Carter-Winward has just jumped to the top of the list. This is one of the most original voices I’ve heard in some time.

I kind of hate the fact that I’m now going to mention: part of what makes this poet’s work so good is that it’s a female voice airing things that not many women will admit in the honesty of poetry. I feel like I’ve known a few women like Carter-Winward, but I’ve never known them to express their lives and raison d’etres so artistically and bullshit free in poetry before. You know that thing of if a guy sleeps with dozens of women, he’s a stud, but if a woman sleeps with loads of men, she’ll be called a slut. I couldn’t help but have that at the back of mind as I read these poems, but let’s not go down that road too much, ‘cos otherwise it’ll look like Carter-Winward is some goddamn post-punk-feminist-symbol or something, when I don’t want her happenstance of being female taken into account. This is simply good poetry, regardless of anything else. So let’s move on. Like the poet herself says in her poem ‘moving on’: “frankly/I’m sick and tired/of the feminist/sexual-victim-centric/bullshit/poetry.”

So, yeah, there are plenty of poems about sex: small dicks, blow jobs, being peed on, lesbian leanings, one night stands… but these poems, which are often describing youth, are balanced nicely with poems about motherhood, family, cities like New York, growing up as a Mormon, turning your back on God… alongside a great cast of gutter characters and poignant and funny observations. With plenty more depth to boot.

The style of writing actually took me a little while to get into. You can be fooled into underestimating how good these simple and easy-reading poems are, but once you’ve become acquainted with the poet’s style, you realise these poems have all been highly polished and the words suddenly ooze with new uniqueness.

No Apologies is also the sort of poetry book where there are no clear stand-alone winning pieces. Each poem is a part of the whole, so this is definitely a collection that should be read in its entirety; and many poems begged to be read again.

I’m looking forward to reading the next in this series, but I feel a bit worn out from this collection, so I’m going to take a breather first.
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Reading Progress

February 19, 2016 – Shelved
February 19, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 22, 2016 – Started Reading
March 29, 2016 – Shelved as: poetry
March 29, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Jason I found it really difficult to find a favourite too.

message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Cole Peed on? Oh my....

Jason Kevin wrote: "Peed on? Oh my...."

Make sure you hold on to your petticoats when you read this.

Harry Whitewolf Kevin wrote: "Peed on? Oh my...."

This poetry doesn't hold back mate!

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