In case you missed the memo, I’ll restate this for the record: I FREAKING LOVE POETRY. Pretty much every poetry collection that comes out of Andrew McMeel makes it to me, whether by way of the library, Amazon, or gifts, but despite the abundance of poets the publisher cranks out, I pretty much clear my schedule for only two: Lang Leav and Michael Faudet. And since I always rant/rave about Leav (mostly about how everyone on the planet must read her works), I really wanted to review a collection by Faudet. So, here we are…
Winter Of Summers is only the second of Faudet’s four collections I have read to date. The first, Smoke & Mirrors, wasn’t particularly a favorite of mine, but I appreciate Faudet’s sometimes whimsical and often boldly erotic writing. His poetry is blunt and raw and intimate. It’s not often one finds a poet willing to speak so bluntly about desires or write unapologetically, but Winter Of Summers simply does not error on the side of maintaining clear boundaries or shying away from difficult feelings: there is no black or white in heartache anymore than there is in falling head over heels.
Though Winter Of Summers contained a few pieces about love, his poems about anger, lust, loss, and disappointment resonated with me the most. It’s not that I’m a miserable sod or anything, but the honesty of his prose really spoke to the place I’m at in life right now. With themes around social issues, feminism, sexuality, and self-discovery, Winter Of Summers confronts ignorances and fears that seek to tear people down, making it a relevant read for anyone who doesn’t fit into those perfect little boxes society likes to stuff them into. I loved stumbling acorss these little rebellious streaks embedded in Faudet’s poetry.
Funny story: I read Winter Of Summers aloud to my mother on the way from the airport. For whatever reason, I can’t read quietly sitting upfront in a vehicle. My brain thinks it’s rude and somehow reading aloud in the car doesn’t feel as rude? Anyways, she was enjoying some of the poems, giggling at a couple and telling me which ones she liked, and then I read THE poem. Let me tell you….nothing beats the hilarious expression on a person’s face when they don’t expect you to read the word “cock” aloud.
There is strong language in some of the poems, but this didn’t bother me at all. It might, however, bother others so if you’re a swearing virgin or dislike that kind of language, Winter Of Summers might shock the heck out of you….like it did my mother (I’m still seeing her wide-eyed look in my head) 😂😂😂
Some of my insta-fav poems in this collection are: “Haters”, “The Final Chapter”, “Empty Words”, “Wisdom”, “It’s My Life”, and “Welcome Home.”
If I had to complain about anything, it would be how short Winter Of Summer is. Some of the poems were a single line on an empty page. I kind of felt all the blankness was a waste of a paper and wondered if something could have been done to fill in the additional space, such as illustrations. Of course, *I* dislike empty pages because of my love for trees, so this is totally a preference/bias. Plus, the single-lined poems were some of the most impactful, so I can’t really complain, but I think the abundance of these amazing one-liners made the book feel shorter somehow. Or maybe I enjoyed it so much, the pages just flew by.
Bottom line: Winter Of Summers is worth the read. It’s blunt, intimate, and unapologetic. It’s perfect if you’re short on time and can be easily packed if you’re traveling, but the number one reason I would recommend this collection is because of Faudet himself. I love his rough writing style. I love that he is an evolving poet (really hope he isn’t offended by this, by the way), and I appreciate the darkness layered in his works, eclipsed by bursts of love and euphoria. I love how much his pieces feel like fragments of life out of order, and the unspoken acknowledgement that it’s okay if life is messy, chaotic, undoing…because if it wasn’t, it probably isn’t living at all.
Michael Faudet is the author of the international bestsellers Dirty Pretty Things, Bitter Sweet Love, and Smoke & Mirrors. His books have been nominated in the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Poetry.
Dirty Pretty Things was also selected by Sylvia Whitman, the owner of the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, as one of her personal favorite books of 2016. He frequently explores the intricacies of love, loss, relationships, and sex in poetry, prose, and short stories. His lyrical and often sensual writing continues to attract readers from all around the world.
Before turning his hand to writing books, Michael enjoyed a successful career in advertising as an award-winning executive creative director. He managed creative departments and developed advertising campaigns for major brands in many countries.
Michael is represented by the literary agency Writers House, New York. He currently lives in New Zealand in a little house by the sea with girlfriend and author Lang Leav.
Faudet is totally stalkable HERE!