Blog Book Tour | “Essential Readings & Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment” by K.V. Dominic #poetry collection

Posted Wednesday, 2 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 4 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I appreciate hosting for Poetic Book Tours as I get to expand my literary horizons by reading Contemporary Poets through their poetry collections as well as Small Trade releases in fiction or non-fiction. I have been blessed to be a host for this book touring company for a year now.  I received a complimentary copy of “Essential Readings & Study Guide” direct from the author K.V. Dominic in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Blog Book Tour | “Essential Readings & Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment” by K.V. Dominic  #poetry collectionEssential Readings & Study Guide
Subtitle: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment
by K.V. Dominic
Source: Author via Poetic Book Tours

K. V. Dominic "Essential Readings" gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: "Winged Reason," "Write Son, Write" and "Multicultural Symphony."

A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic's prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.

Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic's keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781615993024

Also by this author: Essential Readings & Study Guide

Genres: Poetry & Drama

Published by Modern History Press

on 1st September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 284

Published By: Modern History Press
an imprint of Loving Healing Press (@vvolkman)

The next Essential Readings series release will feature the works of T.V. Reddy!

Read an interview feat. T.V. Reddy about his writing career!

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Poetry

About K.V. Dominic

K.V. Dominic

Internationally acclaimed poet Prof. K. V. Dominic (Kerala, India) is the author of three major volumes of poetry about the natural world as well as social and political commentary: Winged Reason, Multicultural Symphony, and Write, Son, Write.

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Being a poet myself and one who has appreciated poetry for most of my life (though I did not start to read poems in earnest until my late teens and early twenties), I appreciated the conjecture of how poetry fuells our capacity to speak truths and emotions through short narratives which impact the reader on sight of the words themselves prior to the fuller grasp of what each individual poem is attempting to speak to us. This is of course, something I have observed wherein whilst reading poetry – whether through a collection or an anthology of poets, you can pick up the emotional empathy of the verses and the conveyance of how the person who inked the words together felt in the height of the creative spark that led them to write the poem itself. Poetry translates through language and time – granting us a deeper connection to those who are imparting their words to us and expanding our world-view at the same time, by presenting different perspectives from a diversity of tone, voice and expression.

Poetry I have found arrives on it’s own accord to be written done – I’ve gone long periods of time without an inkling of my next poem, only to find a transfusion of poems bubbling to come forth after a long hiatus, almost as if they were percolating inside me and awaiting their moment to be transcribed. I agree with the Professor that the merit of how poetry fuses itself into a creative mind and the arrival times of when poetry becomes a part of the poet’s tapestry is one of those unknowns of humanity but to grab a hold of the moment once it comes to us, is one of our writerly joys.

The Professor is a deep thinker, social commentator and poetic fusion of his socio-religious beliefs, wherein he bleeds his heart into his ink. He is very much connected to the events that shape History whilst allowing for a pause of personal vexation to tip his pen towards finding understanding or at the least, an exposition of the anguish that could fill a multitude of souls. His aim is to educate and inform, to own the emotions he feels and to convey his earnest beliefs that we are all connected in his words through Man, Nature and God. A similar concept I have conveyed myself on my blog – where the natural world and our living sphere are inter-connected whilst living a faith-centred life. I appreciated his honesty and his ability to separate his ideals with his passions whilst attempting to continue the conversation forward. I believe that is the greatest hope of a poet – to get a social conversation started and to leave the readers impassioned by what they’ve just read. He prompts his readers with study questions throughout the collection as a guide left behind to encourage a hearty discussion where his topics can be dissected and conversed about openly. I felt this was a good addition, as sometimes it is hard to know where to begin when broaching topical poems and this felt to me like a good window into how a discussion could begin even in a book club who primarily reads novels.

In the humble poem “Beauty” (read poem) we find eternal truth about how peer pressure and society can alter our own living truth about our identity and our appearance. How we have to hold stronger to our own confidence and self-esteem when others seek to destroy the joy of being ourselves. The strength of this poem is re-affirming the beauty within without being subjected to criticism that can only seek to disrupt our mind with pessimistic negativity.

“Harvest Feast” (read poem) relates the story of labours and children against the greater obstacle of famine across the world. This poem paints the picture quite clearly about the distances across social classes and the simplicity of the resolution that could alleviate the absence of rations from those who need food and are currently living without it. It’s one of the social commentary poems that seeks to instill a greater scope of the divides we have in our world whilst honing in on plausible ways to right the wrongs. It seeks to engage the reader to think and to consider things that might not come up in their everyday lives.

Dominic explores the disparity between social classes in his fevered poem “Haves and Have-Nots” (read poem) where he exhumed emotional restraint in order to eloquently express the harsh realities of what separates prosperity and poverty. He finds the acute nature of what causes the differences but also, leaves the poem open to interpretation on how to proceed thereafter; as if there might not be an easy resolution nor a vehicle to voice how to change what has always been.

One of my favourite poems was “Helen and Her World” (read poem) where a blind girl is blessed to teach those around her how blindness was a gift and a blessing; not a curse, nor a disability. For how can it be a disability when it enables her to have abilities others do not possess? Her internal flame burnt so brightly it shattered all darkness, etching out a living spirit of goodness, joy and bliss. She sought not to work against her senses but used what she had within her to champion the life she was meant to lead. There is a duality to this poem – one first reading you see the blessing and on the second turn, you see the irony of how perception and acceptance sometimes do not walk hand in hand. How others see you and how you see yourself are not always the same portrait a living soul embodies.

She is the light of the class,

light of the family,

light of the village,

but alas the light never sees itself.

The way she conquers her darkness

had others learnt from her

they could rise to any height.

-quoted from “Helen and Her World” by K.V. Dominic’s Essential Writings & Study Guide (2016). Quote is used with permission from the author and the publisher.

On reading “Old Age” (read poem) I was surprised by the negative spin of edging out this piece witch such skepticism of not having a good ending of a lived life. I do understand how sometimes children and extended family do not always take well to the caretaker role when elderly relations need extra attention however, having spent a childhood and early adulthood watching over the elderly of my own family and how my family in turn dealt with those changes (in physicality or  medical conditions) I would hope that the majority would see things differently than this poem eludes. It is hard – that time period of where someone has lost their independence and their mobility to find a new joy in living half the life they knew but to simply take a disinterest in their affairs is quite harsh (even if I understand how harsh our world can be). The rest of the poem is a curiously rhythmic piece that has so much inside it, where it’s scope is larger than it’s words.

Such a treat to find “Onam” (read poem) inside this collection! I was hoping intermixed with the more serious poems there might be a bit of levity or joy in the spirit of living rather than the emotional angst that is all too well known. This beautiful poem eclipses such a personal revelation of where the Professor lives and how the cultural heritage of India is a living lifeblood of festivities and the passageway of the soul. The heavens are alive with splendor and the Earth dances in the delights of celebration – this is a poem that can uplift your own soul and feel connected to the festival itself.

Within the tight scope of “Human Brain” (read poem) Dominic explores the temporal nature of our humanity and if we have honestly understood our path or our purpose once we are alive. He endeavours you to consider the plausible misunderstanding and misconception on our behalf with a guided revelation of what might be our better notion of why we are here and how whilst we’re here how that has an importance on our next chapter, too. It’s one of those curious poems that knits into your head and gives you a pensive repose! I believe his question at the end is about how we must return to our spiritual selves and shed our humanistic skin ahead of entering Heaven otherwise, what we anchour ourselves too will be our undoing.

One of the joys of reading this collection is the world-view and perspectives of someone living outside your own country whose honesty and acute observations bring forward how small the world is not in geography but by heart, mind and spirit. We are all living through a co-joined experience, where what happens here has effects elsewhere (simply think of the butterfly whose wings affect climate even if it’s home is in the rainforest). His ability to convey hard-hitting emotional angst and poetic respite for the gravity of what concerns (or vexes) his mind is something to champion. He pulls you through an emotional chord of literary commerce where what is being left for you to read is not one dimensional; to be read, captured and let go, but multidimensional on the level of inspiring you to share what you’ve learnt with others or start a conversation.

There is diverge of tonality and of voice – where you feel pulled into what Dominic is relating through each glimmer of poetic elasticity of his own mind where his thoughts become entwined with your own. Where he starts a thought for you to continue lateron, to see where it takes you and what it transcends about your own opinions, thoughts and emotional connections. It’s not a collection to read and put down, but rather one to return back too and continue to read again. There are more poems and instances of poetic clarity I enjoyed reading that I haven’t touched on today, as it would lengthen this review past what perhaps would be logical! The blessings I’ve had in reading his poetic eye on life and India is immeasurable and I look forward to returning to his words and to feel his voice as I read his short stories celebrating the journey we each take whilst we’re alive. For this collection is just that – a cardinal viewing of how our journey is fuelled by our experiences and how our memories endear us to reconsider our positions (on everything!) whilst granting us wisdom out of contemplation.

As aside, I understand the heartache of his journey towards embracing vegetarianism – I spent five years of my twenties fully embraced by the seasons, eating through locavore resources where farm fresh produce re-invigorated my palate.  However, I had to take a hiatus from eating through the seasons and became an omnivore once more. It is my journey toward re-connecting with my purposeful intent of being a veghead again that peppers my blog time to time when I review cookbooks and bakery delights; seeking an entrance back into a living diet where vegetables, grains and fruits were my own cosmic joy to devour. I look forward to resuming my Bookish Foodie explorations as I continue my journey in 2017.

NOTE: This review was updated after the publisher granted me permission to link to the poems on the Professor’s website as well as share a quotation of my choice from one of the poems I enjoyed reading the most! I am also going to be submitting questions to the author based on one of the poems to be featured later in November.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Essential Readings & Study Guide”, author biography, author photograph of K.V. Dominic, book synopsis and Poetic Book Tours badge were all provided by Poetic Book Tours and used with permission. Quote from “Helen and her World” by K.V. Dominic’s Essential Writings & Study Guide (2016) is used with permission from the author and the publisher. The publisher also gave me permission to link to the poems I listed in my review and were updated lateron the day this review originally posted. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Ruminations and Impressions Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 2 November, 2016 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Equality In Literature, India, Indie Author, Modern Day, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry

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4 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Essential Readings & Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment” by K.V. Dominic #poetry collection

  1. Hi Jorie,
    I too am fascinated with India, a place I hope to have the privilege to visit someday. We have more Indian humanitarian poets planned in the Essential Readings series. Next up will be T.V. Reddy, who has decades of work in print over there.

    I regret that my Twitter accounts have gone unused for a number of years. Another thing to get going again. You’re welcome to give a shout to @vvolkman


    • Thank you for sharing your Twitter account! :) I’m following you and have updated my review for easy reference for my readers! :) India is such a beautiful country inside and out. I love reading Indian Literature and now, Poetry! One of the focuses I want to engage in next year is to read more World Literature. You’re publishing imprints are a good stepping stone for me to seek out #newtomeauthors and expand my reading horizons to new literary voices (to me) whilst finding strong voices in poetic narratives. I am thankful to know Essential Readings is a series (updated to reflect this as well!) of whom will be featuring a poet I’ve just found a lovely interview of where his poems are shared as well as his passion for poetry and writing! Thank you for giving me a bit of advance notice on which poet you will be publishing next!

      I shall look forward to tagging you on Twitter, not only for this release but the prior one I enjoyed reading just as much! I look forward to keeping in touch with you as I read more of your titles. Blessings, Jorie

  2. Thanks for your in-depth analysis of K.V. Dominic’s work, on behalf of the author and myself. It is our hope to introduce the Western world to his work and this is a big leap forward for it.

    • Thank you for your kind compliment on behalf of my review! I was very moved by the writings of the Professor, to where I have earmarked more sections of his writings I want to continue to re-read this Winter. He has such a command of fusing his thoughts and his inquisitive nature into his poetry; to where you sit up and think about what he’s saying rather than just acknowledging the moment of reading his passages. I am so very thankful I was on his blog tour, to be introduced to his writings, as I had forgotten to mention on my review, I study the culture and traditions of India (including being mesmorised by their dramatic-dream story-telling of films and their musical ballads) as much as I study Buddhism and Hinduism (as I am a student of World Religions). I found his style of telling stories cross-relatable to everyone who might pick up his book, whilst honing in on cross-religious backgrounds, world-views and the connective nature of humanity. It’s a powerful collection to read and I am thankful I can continue to turn to these pages for further insight and musings.

      Thank you for giving the joy of sharing the links and the quotation! I had looked for your presence on Twitter but couldn’t find it. I have updated my post this morning to reflect your main website, now that I know what it is as I like to tie together imprints with their main publishing houses. My gratitude is yours for placing this book on a publicity tour in the book blogosphere!

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