‘Memoir in verse’: Gigi Bella releasing poetry collection ‘Big Feelings,’ will do online reading
Take a look at the list below for the most exciting collections coming your way this year, all by and for the rest of us: poets who are women, womxn, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, international, LGBIA+, TGNC, queer, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities.
Here are 44 of my favorite collections of 2020!
"Gigi Bella ranked the tenth woman poet in the world at the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS) in 2017, so it is remarkable to witness her sonnets, drafts, and more on the page. Bella’s poetry book Big Feelings encapsulates the vernacular of brown girlhood that gives the reader the permission to feel all of the variances of love, heartbreak, femininity, and the nuances of simply (and not so simply) being alive."
"Last fall I was asked to host the San Diego Poetry Slam, featuring Gigi Bella. I remember meeting Gigi for the first time. Her outfit on point, radiating with joy, smiling like we had known each other for years. It was mid-way through the slam, I invited Gigi to the mic and her ability to welcome an audience into her art was beautiful. Between poems, warm conversation, laughter, and playing guitar, Gigi that evening, was the medicine we didn’t know we needed."
At the Santa Fe Women's March last January when Gigi Bella stood before thousands in a black jean jacket with a patch that said “Hex the Patriarchy,” and announced on the microphone, “I am fearless; I am warrior; I am woman; I am choice; I am all of the endless possibilities you've ever dreamed of … I am whatever I damn well please,” she was not lying.
"She never attempts to sugar-coat any of the above or make it into something lyrical. At first, the honesty is jarring. After a bit more consideration, it makes sense. These are not things that can be made lyrical. The evenings alone at Olive Garden and the mornings spent scrolling through Instagram looking for something approaching self-acceptance cannot be shown in a glamorous light. These moments can (and should) only be shown for what they are: sad, and embarrassing, and so very modern."
"Bella dripped in advice on bravery and originality, how poets need to maintain their unique voice, speak their truth and 'get free.' It’s all about acquiring that outside-of-body feeling and craving to share your story with the audience. And hopefully, you can move someone enough to use their own voice."
"Some would argue that the recent election is a call to renewal, awakening, rebirth—a time for new voices. If that is indeed the case, Gigi can take her rank among the leaders, calling out the shit, advocating for a better world, while owning beauty, sexuality, and self."