“Charred” – Andreena Leeanne

Today I want to make you aware of another poetry collection. I know, I’m hopeless, I cannot resist new releases and that’s where my income goes monthly, dried up by my curiosity and by my everlasting will to support young poets and performers out there. There is the need to get out of the niche and speak Poetry language on the streets, we need to live through a Cathedral of shared feelings and protest. A them that it’s central in the book I want to share with you today.

It is called Charred- a survivor speaks her truth to inspire, written by Andreena Leeanne, and published by the Team Angelica. The incipit itself reiterates the core message: the most radical thing you can do is to speak your truth. A message that reverberates along the 97 pages of the book, as an open wound chronicling its journey of traumatic experiences and rebirth. A frazzled phoenix who is not willing to shut her mouth. On the contrary: her writing is abrasive, her gazes unforgiving, and her style is unique. A middle finger documenting her past, as a therapeutic session filled with touching metaphors and vivid images from troubled yesterdays.

The title Charred supports this leitmotif: a piece of wood exposed to the flames is already telling the story of its scars. A story proclaiming justice and no cliches at all, so true that it hurts to read, at times. A manifesto of a self-embracing promise, a powerful reminder from Andreena to Mrs Leeanne. A mirror is in the middle, but we are not intruders. We are eyewitnesses of a miraculous recover flowing into beautiful lines.

Her poetry is enchantingly stripped away, rebellious, utterly personal. It’s as essential as her beautiful smile standing out on the cover. It comes in waves reminding that our mind is a powerful tool and that whatever hurts doesn’t need to be eradicated: it can stand there, whilst we grow over our rotten roots. Charred, in its message in the bottle, is structured as a collective diary where thoughts are lyrically annotated. We find views on the Black Lives Matter movement, opinions regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, but also funny remarks that will draw a smile on our face (the series of imperative Send texts/ have sex/ make mess).

When life asks our author how she’s doing, she says she answers I’m fine/ I’m alive. That’s the Dna of this unmissable poetry collection: a life-affirming, sacral scream burning within, declaring the unquestionable right to be and to live following who we are and nothing else.

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