Yoga influenced a lot of the poetry in the last section of my book, A Time for Winter, including the “Vulnerable,” a poem in which I detail the struggle between wanting to unfold and fold in.
Over the past two years, yoga has taught me focus, stillness, and how powerful the breath is. In the past year, during deep waves of depression and social anxiety, yoga has helped me get out of the house as I graduated from at-home practice to public classes.
It was in public classes that I really felt the vulnerability that comes with yoga—the vulnerability of closing my eyes in front of strangers, of breathing loud ocean waves in front of strangers, of lying flat on my back and kicking my feet up to the sky in front of strangers, of rising out of forward fold and shouting “Lumos!” in front of strangers (hello, Hogwarts Yoga!).
My debut poetry collection, A Time for Winter, is now available on Amazon!
One of my greatest life goals has been to publish a poetry book. It wasn’t until I seriously started thinking about publishing one that I saw a theme unfold in my poetry, a story that I could envision as a full collection. It was as if I’d been writing this book for years without even realizing it. After spending a year of writing new poems and editing old ones, organizing, designing, and proofreading, I’m thrilled to finally share my book with the world and only slightly scared of how vulnerable I feel sharing my darkest, most secret thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
Published under my pen name, Kait Quinn, A Time for Winter is a journey through the hard seasons of my life. Feeling the hurt and dead weight of anxiety, depression, and regret over a past long gone by going inward and pulling it all up to the surface before letting it go so that the real work can begin: stillness, self care, and healing. My hope for this collection is that it helps readers find understanding and belonging, something and someone to relate to. I hope that it inspires others to find their own path to healing.
To purchase a copy of my book, please visit the Amazon link above. If you have read A Time for Winter, please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. While you’re on Goodreads, give my author page a follow to check out my current reads, book ratings, and “Want to Read” shelf.
I think you are having a different sort of heartbreak. Maybe a kind of heartbreak of being in the world when you don’t know how to be. […] Everyone has that moment, I think, that moment something so…momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.
from Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Girl in Pieces was hard for me to read, but I couldn’t put it down. I related to Charlie—in small ways. She reminded me a lot of my younger self. Her mindset. How she felt about and treated herself. How she let other people treat her. The things she thought she deserved. I think that’s why I had overwhelming empathy for her. My heart broke for her. I cried every time I sat down to read this book. I wanted to dive into the page and help her in the same way I want to dive into my past and help my younger self.
As All Hallow’s Eve looms closer, the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead thins, until the one night of the year that spirits can step from their realm into ours—at least according to the Celtic traditions that evolved into modern day Halloween.
In celebration of all things creepy, crawly, and spooky, I’m reading Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey. In it, Dickey delves into the creaky floors, endless halls, and hidden staircases of America’s most famous haunted houses, hotels, churches, graveyards, cities, and public spaces.
A Brief Introduction to Ghostland
Even though Dickey explains in the “Author’s Note” that Ghostland is not about proving or disproving the existence of ghosts, he does, in a way, dispel their existence. That is, he offers historical explanations of the supposed ghosts’ former lives and the stories that people created about them. He clears up rumors, sets the stories straight. In a lot of cases, the lives of haunted houses’ former residents were exaggerated after suspicions of paranormal activity arose. Continue reading Ghostland’s Exploration of the Effects of Spiritualism on Women’s Rights & Female Stereotypes
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
– John Keating, Dead Poets Society
I recently found an old copy of Eight American Poets, an anthology edited by Joel Conarroe, at a yard sale, amongst a smattering of poetry and writing books that all wanted to come home with me. I was immediately reeled back to college–specifically, to a Modern American Poetry paper in which I explored confessional poetry through the works of Lowell, Berryman, Sexton, and Plath. It was my favorite academic paper I ever wrote. Not only because I got to read all the Plath poems, but because I was introduced to more poets who stirred up the dark, honest truths inside of me the way Plath’s poetry did. Because I found a home for my own poetry to curl up in. Because I could put a name to what I was doing when I vulnerably put pen to paper. Continue reading How Confessional Poets Influenced My Poetry (and a Special Literary Announcement)
Spoiler Alert: While no major reveals are made in this post, some content may be considered spoilers. If you have yet to read The Girl on the Train, proceed with caution.
As a new comer to the psychological thriller genre, I found myself absolutely engrossed in The Girl on the Train, a book that made me ask myself on more than one occasion, “How have I spent the 25 years I’ve known how to read NOT reading this genre?!”
Paula Hawkins’s twisting, fast-paced story and uncomfortably complex characters captured my attention from page one and kept me engaged on the the edge of my seat throughout the rest of the high speed ride. To quote a review from the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The novel gets harder and harder to put down as the story screeches toward its unexpected ending.” Continue reading Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
even the small poems mean something. they are often whales in the bodies of tiny fish.
‒ Nayyirah Waheed, salt.
In her first book of poetry, salt., Nayyirah Waheed addresses heavy and vulnerable topics using the increasingly popular short form poem. I’ll call hese types of poems—the “whales in the bodies of tiny fish” kind of poems—smallpoems.
Because they don’t leap from metaphor to metaphor in intricate, lyrical detail like a Plath poem or sprawl across pages in winding exploration of language like Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” small poems appear as small as they look upon first glance. But when written creatively, a small poem carries a weight of meaning without making the reader dig, decipher, and analyze to find it.
You have to break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside. The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality.
– Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourselfby Michael A. Singer is a heart-opening, soul-awakening guide to freeing yourself from the boundaries and limitations your habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns build inside of you. Drawing from awareness-creating techniques like meditation and mindfulness, Singer explores the path to consciousness, happiness, and inner peace through the practices of letting go, staying present, and pushing out of your comfort zone.
As a continuing explorer of the inner self and someone deep in the throes of battling her own fears, anxieties, negative thoughts, and sometimes skewed mindset, I thoroughly enjoyed my journey through this book. I found so many nuggets of wisdom and gentle reminders of what life can be like when I let go of that which does not serve, stay present, eschew judgement, and live outside of my comfort zone.