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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 03/2022
  • 9798985187106
  • 132 pages
  • $12.99
Ebook Details
  • 03/2022
  • 9798985187113
  • 132 pages
  • $4.99
Nicole Asherah
Author
A Life Cycle
A Life Cycle, Nicole Asherah’s debut book, follows the introspective process of transformation after emotional hardship through poetic language. Asherah serves as a guide through the sections of her book while also allowing the readers to see the words as their own. A Life Cycle is broken into sections after a traumatic event that represents the final tipping point. What follows is The Shattering: a deep dive into the suffering of fully losing one’s sense of self and safety, The Healing: a journey through processing layers of trauma to reach the root hurts of childhood, Light Shines Through: an exploration of reigniting hope and learning to find joy, and The Loving: a discovery of what love is and how the act of loving has much more to do with one’s self than the person receiving the love. This book transcends the genre of poetry because of its ability to universally help people process and name feelings that often elude words. This book is for anyone developing, hurting, healing, or becoming new versions of themselves. She knows this because that is exactly what she was doing when she wrote it: healing childhood trauma, processing a sexual assault, and learning how to experience joy.
Reviews
Artist and adventurer Asherah delivers an entrancing collection of poems that transport readers through the ebbs and flows of pain and grief toward eventual healing and regrowth. Written while processing a devastating traumatic event, Asherah’s debut begins with a simple consideration of the self, asking “What if ‘you’ is too rich a masterpiece/ For someone to view as a whole?” Readers will be swept up in Asherah’s journey of self-actualization and insights about how healing is a nonlinear process as she describes facing hard truths: “Mourning the girl you used to know./ For better or worse,/ She’s never coming back.”

Asherah’s haunting verse is wrought with tangible pain, and she expertly explores the physical and emotional components of suffering: “It’s as if the weight of the world is always on my shoulders./ I see myself sinking,/ Down below water,/ I’m out of light’s reach.” There are moments where readers likely will need to pause and sit with their feelings, flooded with the complexities and feelings Asherah stirs. This is where she excels the most: wrenching pained emotion from the heart and then intensely examining it in poems of psychological weight and insight, always exuding vulnerability and resilience.

As the title suggests, some sections of the collection are brighter, with a focus on growth, love, and acceptance. The spirited and joyful poems may come across as a touch lightweight in juxtaposition with the heartrending work in the first half, but the breakthrough is bold and inviting: “I LOVE YOU LOUDLY/ When you keep making dumb jokes/ Until I snort with laughter.” Overall, A Life Cycle is a thoughtful anthology that can be read in one sitting but will stick with readers for a lifetime. Back matter includes a Q&A from the author that will shed light on its inspiration and themes.

Takeaway: A powerful collection of emotionally honest prose that will transport readers on a journey of growth, healing, and self-actualization.

Great for fans of: Alexandra Vasiliu’s Healing Words, Morgan Harper Nichols’s How Far You Have Come.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 03/2022
  • 9798985187106
  • 132 pages
  • $12.99
Ebook Details
  • 03/2022
  • 9798985187113
  • 132 pages
  • $4.99

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