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I got to see her triumph and fall apart. I wept and cheered for her. She was so beautiful and so strong, so weak and hurting, all swept together and intertwined. ~ from an included prose piece titled, My Life Story in Music.
These are poems from my idyllic youth, my rebellion, my wild abandon, up to my rescue, redemption, and rebirth as a functioning member of society, and a grown woman with a family of my own. In my early days, I wrote about pain, which was easy. The harder thing was to learn to write about all the joy and adventure of being happy and loved.
It wasnt until later in life that I found my community of artists and really learned to tell the tales from all the angles. I am indebted to the Fresno Rogue Festival, in California, where I first read for an audience and fell in love with receiving a standing ovation. Also, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Rogue Poetry Slam in Southern Oregon, where I learned to do competitive poetry and bring my best, and bring the poetry that I was afraid to share, that made my hands tremble and my voice quake, to sit in awe of the skill of other poets, and sometimes take home the money and win, even with the odds stacked against me, as other poets made the room jump and dance to their words. Oh, sweet victory!
If you have ever loved another, been passionate about anything, mourned a loss, been a parent, heck, been alive – this poet will move you! Her rhythmic words pulse with the beat that promises (like it or not) the continuum of LIFE.
~ Patti Thornton, in her review of Liesl Garners 2008 Rogue Festival Poetry Show “Reading this collection has been an exquisite experience. As she puts it, Liesl Garner has “always had a vivid imagination, and a poet’s heart.”
Through each poem, she seems to find and expose the beauty of everything, from a homeless man who associated her with a Modigliani painting to an after-work trip to the grocery store. Garner’s writing style is vivid and vibrant. Her verses are smooth and delicate, assembling beautifully into poems. Each piece seems to reveal an intimate part of the author’s soul, and she communicates her feelings and experiences candidly. While reading, I felt like each poem was tapping into my own emotions. There is nothing about Days of Soup and Holler by Liesl Garner that I did not appreciate. I loved each and every piece in this collection. I think it deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I warmly recommend this collection of poems to readers who love poetry and especially to young writers that are looking to deepen their relationship with writing.” ~Excerpt of review by Maria Esposito, OnlineBookClub