SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like – A Review by Nicole Lyons

I fucking love poetry. I love good poetry, exceptional poetry, poetry that sits heavy on my chest and reaches down my throat to pull my own words out of my belly, and thank the goddess, in the era of the Instapoet and art without soul, Indie Blu(e) publishing and Candice Daquin have given us all a reason to fall in love with poetry again.

To say that SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like; Poetry by Women for Women touched me on a level that very few books have been able to reach, would not only be an understatement, but a massive disservice to the writers, editors, and publishers of this book.

From the cover design and the foreword, and my god, the opening poem ‘Lesbian’ by Avital Abraham, I was enraptured. How could one not be with words penned as exquisitely as this:

Lesbian is a monster.
Am I the monster?
Because oh,
oh god,
do I want that word to feel delicious.

And delicious is exactly what this book is. It’s delicious in its pain, delicious in its suffering, delicious in its acceptance and unapologetic love. The writers in this book have no doubt all faced their share, and then some, of feeling less than, being told they are less than, living as less than, all because of who they love.

For far too long any expression of love by women for women has been chalked up to either lukewarm hypocritical acceptance (it’s okay to be gay, but I hope you aren’t) or nothing more than erotic urges to be played out in most men’s fantasies, but SMITTEN smashes the hell out of those twisted views, and it does so with absolute stunning precision.

Like that bell
That got Pavlov’s dog to salivate
I rise to an intensity of longing
in the presence of a tall, sexual
Butch pristinely starched
pledged to sisterly friendship
she says, not the sort of wild
sunrise I ardently desire, still.

Henri Bensussen – from This Splendid Sunrise

SMITTEN is the book I will give to my daughters, not only to appreciate and cultivate their ever-growing love of literature, but to take a walk inside the mind of many someones who loves just as fiercely as they do, even if on the outside, that love looks different, or remarkably the same, as theirs.

SMITTEN is something to behold. The lines, the breaks, the breaths a reader takes between are both sharp and soothing. This book is bursting with the kind of breathtaking poetry and prose that knows no gender, no sexual orientation, no colour or country, only the collective sighs of literature lovers from all walks of life.

Whether you identify as a proud member of the LGBTQ2 community, an ally within, or someone not entirely certain where you stand on love, SMITTEN is a book you simply must read. Whether you’re looking for acceptance, understanding, something to change your mind, SMITTEN is by far the book to do al of it.

But of course, if you’re just looking for good fucking poetry, well then I have high hopes for SMITTEN and every writer cradled within its pages.

SMITTEN This Is What Love Looks Like: Poetry by Women for Women an Anthology is now available on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions.


You can read more of Nicole’s writing at Nicole Lyons

Announcing Brave and Reckless’ September’s Smitten Writing Prompt Challenge

Throughout the month of September, I will be providing a daily writing prompt based on the title of a well-regarded book where the main character is a lesbian or a woman exploring her sexual identity. I know that this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I have very carefully chosen titles that I thought could be creatively inspiring to anyone.  You certainly don’t need to be a lesbian or even a woman to participate, nor does your response piece need to be written from a lesbian perspective.  These are designed to inspire you to write a poem, prose piece, or a piece of flash fiction in 30 minutes or less.

The only rule is that you use the book title as your piece title OR integrate all the words in the title into your piece somehow

If you would like to have your piece considered for publication on Brave and Reckless and/or Whisper and the Roar, email your prompt inspired pieces to me at her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com.

You can also participate on Facebook by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #SmittenBookChallenge
  • #braveandreckless66

or on Instagram by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #SmittenBookChallenge
  • @christabelle1966

You can also share your response pieces in the comments below the Daily Prompt.

Final Call For Submissions: This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry By Women Smitten with Women

Indie Blu(e) Publishing will be accepting submissions of poetry and art for This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry by Women Smitten with Women until midnight on Sunday, June 30th. This Anthology will celebrate love, attachments, and attraction between women.

  • The maximum number of pieces for submission per writer/artist is FIVE (5).
  • Writing can be uploaded as a Word or PDF attachment. If you are submitting a graphic poetry meme, the meme must be accompanied by the text in Word or PDF version.
  • Artwork submitted for the Anthology must be able to be reproduced clearly in black and white.
  • You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider non- acceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.
  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2019 through Submittable. There is no charge for submission.

This is a project fueled by passion, not profit. Indie Blu(e) Publishing will only charge a few dollars above the publishing cost to keep the Anthology as affordable as possible.

All contributors will receive a PDF copy of the book.

Questions? Contact Candice at candicedaquin@gmail.com.

Call For Submissions: This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry By Women Smitten with Women

Indie Blu(e) Publishing is currently accepting submissions of poetry and art for This is What Love Looks Like. Poetry by Women Smitten with Women. This Anthology will celebrate love, attachments, and attraction between women.

  • The maximum number of pieces for submission per writer/artist is FIVE (5).
  • Writing can be uploaded as a Word or PDF attachment. If you are submitting a graphic poetry meme, the meme must be accompanied by the text in Word or PDF version.
  • Artwork submitted for the Anthology must be able to be reproduced clearly in black and white.
  • You will be notified if your work is accepted. Please do not consider non- acceptance as any diminishment of your experience, but as with any publishing venture, we must try to fit the individual pieces together into a strong whole.
  • Submission of previously published pieces is acceptable if you still own the rights to your work.
  • Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2019 through Submittable. There is no charge for submission.

This is a project fueled by passion, not profit. Indie Blu(e) Publishing will only charge a few dollars above the publishing cost to keep the Anthology as affordable as possible.

All contributors will receive a PDF copy of the book.

Questions? Contact Candice at candicedaquin@gmail.com.