Review – But Not Up Here: Poems About Remembering In Neon

Genre: Poetry
Rep: Queer Own Voices author
Content Warnings: Reflections on loss, grief, and PTSD containing language that some may find triggering.

A free ARC of this publication was provided to me in exchange for an honest review

Official blurb

Words about love, loss, grief, PTSD, recovery, and jokes with no punchline.

Steps toward finding yourself and singing down the stars.

You’ll like this book if…

You’re a fan of emotional poetry written in beautiful and compelling language.

My thoughts

Poetry – especially free-verse – can be a tricky thing to review. That said, I know what I like, and RoAnna Sylver’s But Not Up Here is definitely the kind of poetry I like to sink myself into. This collection is dripping in raw emotion and beautiful language that has an almost lyrical quality to it. Sylver reaches deeper and takes their exploration of the craft further than some of their contemporaries which, at least for me, is a breath of fresh air. This was a privilege to read.

What worked well

These poems are beautifully written. Sylver takes advantage of the “anything goes” format of free-verse and plays with words, lines, and prose in ways that engage the reader, taking us by the hand and leading us through the ravages of each letter-like piece and the heartbreak that comes with them. It’s impossible not to feel the raw and deep emotions that inspired these poems as you read. It’s a captivating experience.

What didn’t work well

I hesitate to say this knowing the collections were born of negative emotions and experiences but I only wish there was more to it. The collection is powerful but brief and I felt myself aching for more when I reached the last page.

Purchase this title on Amazon


Ko-Fi May

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