Cover Image: Blooming Fiascoes

Blooming Fiascoes

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Member Reviews

I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

Blooming Fiascos is a book of poetry created from the authors own life experiences as not just a human being but as a mother, woman, female, partner, artist and poet.
These poems are about identity and parts of ourselves that we hide away or feel ashamed to talk about or express. Many of these poems are brutally written and expressed and this poetry will not be for everyone.
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This author's words were simply beautiful.  This collection for me was a really interesting balance of the feel of classic poetry and more contemporary issues.  She really has a way with putting words together that evokes feeling and has significant depth and meaning.  It feels so much less trite than a lot of the modern poetry I've read, and it delves into a variety of human issues and emotion.  Just a really lovely collection.
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Poetry, for me, is very subjective. Sure, you can appreciate the artistry of a well crafted sentence, but that doesn't mean that you enjoyed it or that it spoke to you. This is one of those cases for me. There is definitely someone out there that is going to enjoy this collection, but the imagery and the experiences just didn't speak to me. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing an eARC of this in exchange for a review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Ellen states that we live in a beautiful and monstrous world. 

Her poetry is about her experiences as a woman, an artist, a mother, a transplanted southerner, and above all, a human being.

I’m sorry, this collection of poetry wasn’t for me. 

However, I’d you like poetry you should give this ago.
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There was some interesting imagery here, but I must admit that I felt rather underwhelmed by this collection.  I only finished it a couple of days ago, and nothing has stuck with me, sadly.
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The author uses her past experiences as a woman, mother, artist and a human being in order to deconstruct not only the image of identity but also the idea of what our identity should be.

‘Blooming Fiascoes spindles poetry that is not afraid to see itself and the lives it inhabits’.


Humorous, messy, outspoken, awkward, brutal and brilliant. 

Each verse provides deeper insight into the messy, fragile and awkward parts of our identities which we are usually ashamed to talk about.

My favourite lines from the book are:  ‘not your accessory or trophy, you cannot polish me until I shine. I’m already glowing without you’.


I received an advanced review copy for free, and this is my honest opinion.
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Blooming Fiascoes by Ellen Hagan is a compelling collection of verse that explores the contradictory nature of our lives and, indeed, the world at large.  Each verse is sharply observed, and does not shy away from stating the blatantly obvious, from the concrete to the more obscure.  The tone alters from brutal to humourous, and certainly provides much food for thought.  I particularly enjoyed the wit and wisdom of 'To The Rubber Band Holding My Jeans Together', which was sharp, unapologetic, and empowering.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Northwestern University Press for the opportunity to read this ARC.
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