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Arthur Conway
The Poetic Vibrations of a Matured Butterfly

Adult; Poetry; (Market)

A poetic journey of prose poetry, thoughts, and parables about the quiddity of humankind. The cyclonic interactions and divisions that causes movement, and sometimes turbulent development on the road called Life.
Part political commentary, part confrontation with history, Conway’s pained, scathing collection reconsiders historical moments that no one would deem the brightest hour for nations and peoples, opening with the powerful “The Consequences of a Blackman Bringing Fire,” about the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr, and moving on with titles like “An Abrupt Flash of Hell in Urbania.” Illustrations created by Hampton R. Olfus Jr. illuminate the darkest moments, the sketches breaking through the white of the page as if to show the shadows the light is trying to burn out, and Conway offers some reprieves, such as a paean to spending the night with someone beautiful or observing a dragonfly skirting above the surface of water without care of what might lie beneath. Those moments propel readers (and possibly the poet) to keep going, an encouragement to push forward.

Conway’s poems face injustices of global history, in the Americas and South Africa and China and more, often sharply critiquing systems of power that have not just allowed atrocities and apathy but encouraged them. The bluntly titled “A Progressive Act of Land Reform, As Viewed by a Latin American Child” summons up the vulnerability of having nowhere to turn as the powers that be destroy the Earth itself—”brown earth-flesh” spatters against this El Salvadoran’s “tin casa” like “rain falling against an empty Campbell’s / soup can.”

The Poetic Vibrations of a Matured Butterfly is raw yet ethereal, a dream journal linking powerful injustices throughout history into an interrelated whole, tied together by a vigorous clarity of language, especially in the occasional short poems that open with “Oppression is …” and then offer ever-evolving examples that each connect to the same enduring root problem. The collection builds to the powerful image, in the penultimate poem, of “…a mighty Panther devouring a dead, tainted Eagles / flesh…” The reincarnation detailed afterwards gives a sense of change–of hope–despite all the scenes of misused power that precede it. Conway brings fire.

Takeaway: A pained, potent collection of poems on global injustice, oppression, and even hope.

Great for fans of: JP Howard, Larry Neal, Haki R. Madhubuti.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A+
Editing: A
Marketing copy: B+


Authors Reading

his verses convey feelings that stay with the reader long after the book is read. The emotional resonance is entangled with his weaving of origins of a people cursed today with scars of yesterday




The collection is written in free verse with vivid and graphic imagery that will reward perceptive

readers. His original voice will ensure that the reader will keep turning the page anticipating more


Lesley Jones

the words flow off the page with eloquence and articulation




I must rate this book 4 out of 4 stars for its originality. It made me see the world in a different light



Sarah Stuart

Fine poetry invariably causes a reaction in its readers



Asher Syed

Conway does well in addressing the human condition and that this compilation is both timely and relevant