Book Reviews

Review: Heaven or This and Monsoon Dream by Topaz Winters

Heaven or This

Let me begin with Heaven or This which is a beautiful set of poems that celebrates lesbian relationships, the importance of love, and the role of poetry. Laura from Green Tea and Paperbacks recommended this collection of poems to me and I am so glad she did (her recommendations are always the best). First off, the style is exactly what I like. It is straightforward, emotional, and moving – proving you don’t need flowery fanciful words no one knows in order to create beautiful imagery. There is a clear cut honesty, a vulnerability that you sense from reading that opens up the space in your heart to let the words inside. There are turns of phrases that are obsessive and captivating such as “forget-me-(k)nots” among others.

You will be caught in the hurricane of beautiful prose from page one. It is an ode to pure love against the face of ignorance. Winters shapes the words of hope into being with this collection while taking up issues of heteronormativity, culture, and lack of representation.

Monsoon Dream

What I love about this is Winters’ ability to combine tender non-fiction feelings with beautiful imagery. There is an eloquence, an understated tug that runs through these pages like a current. With phrases like “strains within its own body” (5) Winters takes us through the streets and rain of Singapore. On the verge of change, we occupy alongside Winters that moment when we notice the way our shoes pinch our feet or our clothes beginning to fray. It’s growing time and in those in between moments where everything is changing, we struggle to find our home. It is lyrical, magical, and enchanting to read, using the monsoon season as a metaphor for our quest to find our home.

You should check these two pieces of work out on Goodreads for Heaven or This, Goodreads for Monsoon Dream, and visit Winters’ Patreon.

Disclaimer: I received Monsoon Dream in my inbox when the author read my review of Heaven or This.


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