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Member Reviews

I keep picking this sort of experimental poetry book hoping to find exactly this, which I finally, for the first time (obviously) did!
This was absolutely brilliant. It was fun, experimental, interesting and explored a diverse range of subjects that I was not expecting it to! Very unique and perfectly included some storytelling and illustrations in the mix.
Can't wait to buy a physical copy and annotate my thoughts. I really appreciate the fact that this exists and it became one of my favourites. This might not be for everyone but I do recommend you give it a chance!
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Honestly, I enjoyed reading the book but it really just left my thoughts after I finished it. There wasn't anything that really captivated me and had me thinking after i was done with the book. It's a good book but it just lacks something.
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This book is so many things that I'm finding it difficult to describe - it's poetry and narrative, it's playful and heavy, it's deeply tied to our current political and social moment while also being set on the moon at an undefined future time. What it most definitely is, without any caveats, is very, very good.
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I have to honestly say this one was not for me. Maybe it just was the time, or the concept, but I just could not appreciate it in a way it deserved but I believe others would more than enjoy it.
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Not a Lot of Reasons to Sing, But Enough chronicles the human Nary’s attempts to preserve the art and wisdom of the renowned robot poet Gyre before their death in an alternate, post-apocalyptic world. Made up of conversations, arguments, speeches, blessings, and reflections, this poetry book allows writers to reflect, grieve, and unpack through the various dialogues led by Nary, Gyre, and the legendary Hen March.

I love the concept, atmosphere, and ideas explored in this beautiful SFF poetry suite. It suspends disbelief while bringing long-hidden thoughts and feelings to the surface, and the poet achieves what he has set out to do in his note at the end of the book. Poetry here is brought back to its roots: a public assembly, an expression of the inner, a way to feel, and a statement of strength that goes beyond grandstanding.

Most importantly, I *love* the idea of poetry as a conversation between the past and the present, between the poet and their inspiration, and even between the memory and the ideal. Nary relives Gyre’s life through remembering his poetry; Hen March reaches within herself to express her tiredness and vision after the battle of the day. Though Nary tries to engage his sometimes unwilling audience in less-than-successful career talks and writing workshops—I also find it funny that this poetry book is also very meta in that it doubles as its own writing workshop—it is his steely resolve to keep writing even in the midst of personal insecurities that got me hooked to his speeches:

Poetry is translation. You take an emotion, an idea, a concept, and you turn it into an image, a memory, a story. You take a signal, and you build it a body. This is obvious—you already know that a message is generally more effective when it is wrapped up in a story.
But there is a deeper truth here. It isn’t just the specific metaphor that matters; it’s the mechanics of metaphor itself—being able to see something through some other thing. Understanding the connection, the conversation, between what is large and what is small, what is far away and what is close, what is you and what is not you. Too many do not.
—Wireless, It Might Scream

Sometimes, simply seeing the connection between the universal and the personal is poetry itself. On days when our writer souls are depleted, sometimes, the mere existence of the metaphor is enough.

This discourse does not stop with the personal. In most of the poems here, Nary and Gyre stand up to the gatekeepers of power and prestige with their art as their best—and often, their only—weapon. Through their poetry, they seek to interrogate and dismantle oppressive structures by first uncovering the farce and pomp, and then by turning to their listeners (and readers) in a bid to be lent more strength for the fight. This is best exemplified in one of my favorite pieces, the biting and satirical “The Role of the Artist in Times of Authoritarian Brutality: A Panel Discussion”, which is also made available to read on the author’s site.

However, I didn’t love it as much as I hoped mainly because the form, rhythm, and sound used in this book sound better suited as a stage production. By remaining solely on the printed page, the poetry lacks the music. It lacks the power. I often revisit Guante’s spoken word poetry to match his words to his sound, and I can’t help but feel excited when I picture this as an intimate off-Broadway production: the stage dressed in the hues of Hen March, the art on the playbill, the trembling power of poetry finally, FINALLY liberated from the prison of pages and into the hearts of people who will free their own. Better yet, a community play: a pool of resources that can enable local acting companies to produce this in their own theaters. Can you imagine how beautifully intimate and raw this production would be???? IMAGINE THE POTENTIAL! Changing the medium drastically changes the art, and that gap is keenly felt in Not Enough because many of the conventions of spoken word poetry do not translate effectively.

But while a stage production would be great, a book will do. While social gatherings are still limited and the elders have not yet gathered us for the assembly, we can let the blessings of Gyre, Nary, and their own elders ring loudly and clearly in our mental spaces. In the face of a world that is about to end, we need all the heart and strength we can get. As Guante reminds us, there are not a lot of reasons to sing, but we have enough.
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"Don't be angry at a story because it isn't a map."
This poetry collection is a treasure. It's about finding courage to seek hope in people and it is done meticulously. Thanks to NetGalley and Button Poetry for the arc <3
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Guante's poetry takes me back to that one time I went to the Nueva Onda cafe with my friends many years ago. One friend was active in the local poetry community, and while I did want to be supportive, I know I did a poor job of it. There was a big slam poetry presence there and it didn't speak to me. I didn't get it so I wrote it off. My relationship with poetry has changed over the years and while I still mostly consume it in its written form, I find my self loving spoken word and slam more and more. 

When I told my friend that I'd received an ARC of this book from NetGalley, his response was that he was just looking at it on Button Poetry's website. I was already loving this book, but I found my friend's response encouraging and continued on.

This collection of poems sets out to redefine your view of what poetry is and assures you that you don't have to like poetry, and that maybe poetry just isn't what you've been taught. Poetry doesn't have to pretentious romantic rhymes. Anyone can enjoy it or write it. Or not. 

Not a Lot of Reasons to Sing, but Enough tells a story through the memories of a robot recovered from a post-apocalyptic world. The format is unique and beautiful and a delight to read. I found myself rereading several passages and coming back to the illustrations that punctuate the collection over and over again.  Guante hits on a lot of topic near and dear to my heart without being super direct and preachy. I'll be buying a copy for my shelf, and if you are even remotely interested in poetry, you should too. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Read this book. Do it.
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Reading "Not A Lot of Reasons to Sing, But Enough", Words by Kyle Tran Myhre and Art by Casper Pham, opened up my mind to a whole new genre of poetry. The sci-fi futuristic moon setting was mystical and the characters felt a little ancestral - like connected to me somehow. It was almost an epic search for cultural sanity gone awry.  I was not aware it was hip hop style until I read the AMAZING afternotes - which I must admit were as inspiring to me as the quirky stories. The poems felt cool and sparse - and I loved the inspirations from the matriarchal  elder.. There is no denying the impact of the COVID timeline on the themes in this poetic writing. I found the audiobook read by the author in his poetry slam style - 5 star!. Loved the art of the poems and the quirky almost medieval style drawings

Thank you to Button Publishing Inc. for the ARC I received in exchange for a fair review.
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I would like to thank the publisher of Not a lot of reasons to sing, but enough, for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy through NetGalley.
I found the blending of visual art with poetry imaginative. 
I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy science fiction, and poetry with political and philosophical nuances.
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Passionate, political, powerful writing, beautifully illustrated. If that first part makes it sound inaccessible, it really isn't - The book is presented as "found materials" - poems, transcripts, sketches and journal entries about Gyre and Nary "collected" during their travels. Structured and introduced like this, it becomes a little like reading fiction. Part mystery, part sci-fi comic, part poetry anthology. A really unique and interesting book.
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Thank you to Button Poetry and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader's Copy! 

Now available. 

Kyle Myhre's Not A Lot Of Reasons To Sing But Enough is a divine collection! Set in the distant future civilization, the book seeks to uncover what the truth of poetry is. Through elegies, sololiques, conversations, didactic sessions and more we uncover this world as filtered through Gyre, a robot, and Nary, his human companion. It is playful and challenges the boundaries of traditional poetry. I greatly enjoyed each and every poem, especially the Blessings. Highly recommend!
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I was offered this book as an ARC by NetGalley. I am quick to admit that I do not read much poetry but do want to broaden my horizons. The fact that this book has a sci-fi flavour, was a big draw and thought that it might be a good way for me to ease myself in. I really liked that the book is a mix of different writing styles and has the added bonus of some great artwork. I am about to start my next writing course and so am fired up to be far more experimental in this module so thank you to Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre!
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Can I just say, wow, this book was a breath of fresh air. This book is imaginative and inspiring, structured brilliantly. 

As a fan of dystopian worlds and scifi, I loved the unique setting, a future society of Earth's outcasts surviving on the moon. But the morals and lessons are very much of the world we know now. He artfully crafts tales of counter-narratives that left me in deep thought about our world, how we got here, where we're heading, and how we can help or hinder the process. 

Also, though the book isn't actually about writing poems, being an amateur writer, I loved the lessons he wove into his story on writing and what we as artists and educators can do to help promote and encourage community and voice. I can't wait to share some of these poems and stories in my classroom!

Some quotes that I loved:
🌙 How do you not notice that dread, hanging in the air like a cloud of mosquitoes?
🌙 We have to tell our stories. We have to listen to one another's stories. 
🌙 matter how beautiful, or colorful, or well-constructed the balloon itself is, none of that makes it fly. 
🌙 May you do the right thing even when it is not the easy thing. Or the expected thing. Or the lawful thing.
🌙 ...magic is not whether I pick up that brush with my mind, or with my hand; the magic is what I write with it.
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I am looking to get into poetry, and while browsing for some I saw this one was also sci-fi so it really stood out. 

As soon as I started reading I saw it was not what I imagined poetry to be, no obscure short rhyming poems, but a collection of hard hitting essays (a few of which did rhyme) with a matching sci-fi setting.

We follow two poets, a robot and a human as they travel between villages on the moon, where exiled humans created a new society after their memories were erased.

But they are no regular poets. They believe their art can be used to create movements, rebellions and influence politics. This book is a commentary on the pandemic, social justice, gender inequality and human nature. Felt even like a call to action. I very much enjoyed the educational passages about how to write a poem.

The author is a Hip Hop performer and it was very interesting to see how he incorporated the scene into his work. Also the illustrations were excellent. Highly recommended if you care about social issues and are interested in influential art.
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As someone who loves both dystopia and poetry, I was absolutely delighted to stumble across a book that combines the two. Of course, tie in memory deletion and you basically have the recipe for my perfect book. Unfortunately though...all the proper ingredients doesn't ensure the perfect execution. 

The foundation of the story is that a bunch of robots and humans have been exiled to the moon, and while they still have all their vocabulary from before, they can't remember anything else. We then explore some past and present of life on this planet with some poets who travel and help encourage others with writing. More or less.

Sometimes the abstract was just too much...I suppose that can be very common in poetry though. Honestly the worst part was just everyone's opinions and views were just so completely, blindly one-sided that it made everyone one dimensional. There was Hen March who was one of the earliest exiles who was just the perfect poster child for earthly progression. Her memories from before are wiped but she just inherently knows that gender is a construct and cops are bad and shouldn't exist and so on. I would've preferred so much depth there. Instead of someone coming seemingly just programmed with these ideals and never questioning or thinking about any of it. 

On the flip side, the obvious "bad guys", with bad ideals anyway were just these caricatures of the opposite of that. Like the entire poem of what a "real man" is...never looks at birds, exchanges shark tooth necklaces, drinks his own tears to achieve victory over them. Then somewhat admits that the rules are intense but goes into explaining how we need to follow such rules blindly because that's the only way we can keep from dissolving into chaos. 

I can absolutely see WHY the author did all this and the points and beliefs definitely came across. It just made it all so one dimensional though to have everything so black and white. Where's the friction and inner turmoil and depth?! Then not to mention all the little author chats, where there were usually 3 and it was just the perfect little Goldilocks situation. We have too much, then too little and then in comes Nary jjjuuuusssttt right. But ignored. 

That said...I highlighted a ton of lines in this book. It was thought provoking. I was absolutely aching to write afterwards and enjoyed how there were even writing prompts in the end. I'm kind of not sure how to even rate this. Do I weigh the overall story and characters highest? Does well written lines and post-reading inspiration weigh more? I honestly feel like I both loved and hated this book. I was left with many questions, both about the story and more philosophical ones. Which I suppose was a big point of it.
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In "Not A Lot of Reasons to Sing but Enough", Myhre creates a post-apocalyptic world in which the reader is forced to acknowledge the injustice, the hypocrisy, the creeping authoritarianism and the helplessness that many currently feel. The dialogue, poetry, and storytelling is wonderfully executed. 

"Not A Lot of Reasons to Sing but Enough" has an interesting format, not only because of the storytelling and setting, but because of the characters. There are no major arcs and no clear resolutions which I find extremely effective and important. Myhre is clear there is no easy solution to the problems in our society but there is an importance of relationships, community and using art to speak the truth. This book, among other things, is perfect for poetry lovers, a call for self-reflection and a tool for activists. 

I recommend the audiobook version as well. The delivery is (if you are familiar with his previous work) unsurprisingly effective.
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This was moving and the story told through the poetry is what made it so powerful. It moves your souls and heart and it makes you take a step back and think.
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I felt like this was misleading by putting it in the poetry section. I didn't feel like poetry at all which was very disappointing.
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Featuring new poems, theater elements, and Casper Pham‘s stunning visual art, the book follows two wandering poets as they make their way from village to village, across a prison colony moon full of exiled rebels, robots, and storytellers.
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I really enjoyed this collection of work! The way the story unfolds through each individual piece makes it a really engaging and interesting experience. The Themes and language are thought-provoking, emotional and really reflective of a world gone wrong.
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