Poetry Book Reviews


Goodness gracious Helium was such a breath of fresh air. Francisco writes with a voice that is down to earth and full of so much truth about life today in America. I greatly enjoyed this collection, it was free verse but many of the poems were still littered with beautiful metaphor and allegory. After every poem I finished I appreciated the medium so much more.

“I am learning that a person
who only knows how to fight
can only communicate in violence
and that shouldn’t be anyone’s first language.”

The author pulls no punches when discussing contemporary issues such as in The Heart and the Fist, which is about toxic masculinity and violence; or Adrenaline Rush, a poem about police brutality. Many of the poems from this collection are available on YouTube and are well worth the watch. The book was filled to the brim with personal reflections on Francisco’s lived experiences, from dating, heartbreak, hook ups, becoming a parent unexpectedly, racism, childhood stories, even the California drought and what it means for future generations.

“Jim Crow may have left the nest, but our streets are still covered with its feathers.”

This was a well put together collection with a good variety of poems, every page had something new to consider. I’m sure that many adults can probably find something in these pages that speaks to them. This book has definitely shot up to one of my favorite poetry collections I’ve read and I’ll definitely be following this author in the future.

Title: Helium
Author: Rudy Francisco
Publisher: Button Poetry
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Pages: 112
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

Helium is the debut poetry collection by internet phenom Rudy Francisco, whose work has defined poetry for a generation of new readers. Rudy’s poems and quotes have been viewed and shared millions of times as he has traveled the country and the world performing for sell-out crowds. Helium is filled with work that is simultaneously personal and political, blending love poems, self-reflection, and biting cultural critique on class, race and gender into an unforgettable whole. Ultimately, Rudy’s work rises above the chaos to offer a fresh and positive perspective of shared humanity and beauty.

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