#poetry Review: Versions of the Self, by Christy Birmingham 4.5 stars


Poetry for me is hit and miss. I either love it, or I hate it. It either pulls me in and makes me think and feel deeply, or it puts me off completely. Not very often do I find middle ground. Oddly enough I was reluctant to read this book because I follow Christy’s work on When Women Inspire. I love her approach, as well as the unique and resounding subjects she often tackles. She’s inspiring and supportive, and honestly I was a little worried that reading a book of her poetry might disappoint after I’ve become quite fond of her stuff up until this point. I’ve even had Versions of the Self downloaded on my Kindle for months, just waiting for me to buck up and face my lingering fearful curiosity.

Luckily for me, it didn’t disappoint! Not even close. It was far from disappointing, and I feel even more fond of Christy Birmingham and her writing because of it!

Versions of the Self is categorized by way of events and emotions. Each page tells a story of it’s own, in a very creative way. One thing that I love about this poetry is that it has sort of an abstract feel, yet the emotion poured in also gives it a traditional, old fashion type squeeze. For lack of better words I found it well-rounded, solid.

In this book Christy reveals a side of herself that most people hide. The bravery it took to expose the level of vulnerability here is absolutely commendable. Her heart and soul was tossed around by relationships, both with a lover, herself, and family loss. The angle she took to describe these events and emotions was different than anything I’ve ever read.

Christy has a way of using words to describe physical objects in her own metaphors. It’s such a breath of fresh air to read page after page where every way of thinking is out of the box. This is no cookie cutter book of poetry, and I love it that much more because of this fact. Keep making magic with words, Christy! This is truly your gift!


Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration.

Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Great Post, Didi, of course you always do such interesting and varied commentaries and I especially love this one. As you know, I love poetry too. Thank you for highlighting poetry that is often a short story in a few stanzas. That is how amazing poetry is.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It truly is amazing! The poetry in this book is absolutely one of a kind too, just beautiful 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Didi, that is wonderful! Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Christy B says:

    Thank you for such an in-depth review of the book, Didi! I am so glad you breathed deep and took the plunge into the book – and even more happy to hear that it was a read you enjoyed. It means a lot to me too that you understood the vulnerability behind the writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome Christy! It takes special blend of courage and creativity to write poetry like this. It’s beautiful 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Didi, for this wonderful review of Christy’s poetry. I must read this book too. I have also been hesitant for the reasons you cited above. Once doesn’t want to be disappointed or to disappoint.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Christy B says:

      So appreciate the honesty here…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I think this is a legitimate fear we have as supportive bloggers! It’s kind of like a tight rope between the people and their writing…. I really did love this poetry though, definitely give it a read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this lovely review Didi. I don’t read nearly enough poetry, and this sounds like something I’d really enjoy.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This poetry is extremely unique, I have a feeling you’d adore it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Didi! Thanks for sharing this lovely review with us. We share a love for poetry. Delighted to find my way here via Christy’s blog and to be following your blog now, as well. Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Natalie, I’m so glad that Christy’s share of this review pulled you in to my blog! I’m thrilled to have you, and appreciate the follow! 🙂 The poetry in this book is wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

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