Review of TIMEDEATH, Melissa Jennings

TIMEDEATH is the first collection I have read which is solely visual poetry and Jennings’ talent for the written word and their eye for visuals is a poetic, artistic treat.

Only twenty pages, TIMEDEATH is a deliberate pacing of loss, trauma and grief. There is courage and sheer brilliance in how purposeful each piece is. From the font colours, to the photographic choices, to the formatting, the poet bares the bones of humanity with nowhere to hide.

And yet, there is profound simplicity throughout. Stripped of metaphoric concealment and the poet’s usual arsenal, Jennings uses the world around them and the words at the tip of their tongue to capture a lived experience to which many can relate.

In fact, a home has been built from TIMEDEATH and it is honest in its rendering. The poet has created a space which has the trappings of acceptance — of finding something from the ashes — but they never deny the uncomfortable and traumatic truths of life.

Although borne from stasis wrought and intensified amid a pandemic, the bravery and the spirit within Jennings’ work to produce something wholly unique and individual, is inspiring. In spite of the tragedy and relentless ache of living, of surviving, the poet’s existence is one of empowerment.

TIMEDEATH is available here.

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