I was in Chapters one day with my best friend and we were stopped in our tracks by a shelf that cradled matte black covers. I cannot explain how, but we were drawn to these tiny books, arranged in perfect formation next to each other. She picked up Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur; I, The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace.
I didn’t know what I would find when I cracked the crisp front cover back. Fairy tales? Would I be bored? In this moment, I realized that I had no idea what a modern book of poetry looked like. It looked minimalistic, the white font screaming against a vacuum of matte black. It was the back cover that seduced me: “The story of a princess turned damsel turned queen.” This alone was something I related to on multiple levels. So, I bought it and brought it home.
My friend savoured Milk and Honey, reading one poem a day and letting all the words sink in. When I opened the cover of Lovelace’s book, I didn’t close it until I’d read the last page. Every poem I read hit me hard. I felt winded, like I couldn’t speak or breathe. She had dug her way into my history—my hurt and wounds and traumas—and put a megaphone against my heart, writing down what came out in beautiful, simple and wonder-woman-powerful poetry. I remember sending my friend pictures of the poems that seemed to be snapshots of my own journey through trauma and abuse. Both of us were speechless.
I don’t know what drew me to this book in particular, why it felt so right in my hands that day, but I want to thank Amanda Lovelace for writing poetry that would amplify my own heart-waves and inspire me to start writing free-verse poetry about my journey. I have given out two copies already and keep buying another to replace it because I know so many people who need to read this book.
Feminine hearts, please give this book a read. I promise it’s worth it.