Sunday, October 5, 2014

Lust by Diana Raab

Lust by Diana Raab
Published February 2014 by WordTech Communications
Source: my copy courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review

Publisher's Summary:
A passionate journey through private emotional moments, Diana Raab's LUST voices the pain of loneliness and the heart's yearning for love while transcending the depths of human desire. In her fourth book of poetry, Raab employs narrative verse that is alive, titillating, and seductive. LUST examines the emotional and physical complexity of love, helping readers navigate the risks of intimacy as we move toward the realization that every experience enriches our lives, whether we perceive it as joy, pain, or out of the ordinary. Yet for all their psychological richness, the poems simplicity and accessibility will resonate with women and men across all walks of life. LUST is a book you won't put down and won't soon forget.

My Thoughts:
Mini-me, who will shortly graduate from college with a degree in studio art and a great appreciation for modern art, doesn't understand how little I "get" about modern art. What's more, I sort of feel the same way about poetry. I often read it and feel like I'm not "getting" it. Or maybe there is no hidden meaning and I'm just overthinking it.

I felt both ways about Diana Raab's Lust. Given the title, I was certain that all of the poems must have some sexual undertone. So I was certain that if I didn't find it, I must just be missing it. But maybe there were poems in the collection that really were just abut relationships and sex and carnal desire wasn't involved. After a couple dozen poems, I stopped trying to analyze each poem and just took them for what I was getting from them. Which is how I view modern art these days.

When asked what kind of reader was the ideal reader for this collection, Raab said "VERY VARIED!! MEN AND WOMEN ... NOT RELIGIOUS ... SENSUAL .. LOVING.. SEXUALLY ACTIVE. EUROPEAN SENSIBILITIES PERHAPS." Okay, well, I certainly don't have European sensibilities (I live in the Midwest, for heavens sake!), I am religious, and I haven't considered myself "sensual" for a long time. Still, I like to think I'm open-minded so I agreed to read and review Lust. After reading How To Build A Girl, Lust felt relatively tame, certainly not "dirty."

Raab writes not just about physical lust but emotional lust as well as love, longing, and loss. There are poems of infidelity, lost love, passion, addiction, and regret. Truly the gamut of human emotions when it comes to our need, our lust, for intimacy with another.

If I were an Audible member, I could have gotten this on audio. I really wish I had been able to do that; I think hearing these emotions voiced would have added tremendously. Because, even though I enjoyed the collection, I still have a hard time powering through a book of poetry for review. It seems that poetry should be read a little at a time - like good chocolates, each bit should be rolled around on the tongue and savored.

For other opinions about Lust, please visit the other stops on this TLC Book Tour. Thanks to the ladies of TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour!

Diana Raab is an award-winning poet, memoirist, and believer in the healing power of the written word. She began crafting poems at the age of ten when her mother gave her her first Khalil Gibran journal to help her cope with her grandmother and caretaker’s suicide. A few years later she discovered the journals of diarist Anaïs Nin and learned that, like Raab, Nin began journaling as a result of loss (the loss of her father). Much of Raab’s poetry has been inspired by Anaïs Nin’s life and works.

She is the author of four poetry collections, My Muse Undresses Me (2007); Dear Anaïs: My Life in Poems for You (2008); The Guilt Gene (2009); and Listening to Africa (2011). Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Rattle, Boiler Room Journal, Rosebud, Litchfield Review, Tonopah Review, South Florida Arts Journal, Prairie Wolf Press, The Citron Review, Writers’ Journal, Common Ground Review, A Café in Space, The Toronto Quarterly, Snail Mail Review, New Mirage Journal, and Jet Fuel Review. She is editor of two anthologies, Writers and Their Notebooks (2010) and Writers on the Edge (2012), co-edited with James Brown. Both these collections have submissions from poets and prose writers.

Diana has two memoirs, Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal (winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction and the National Indie Excellence Award for Memoir), and Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey (winner of the 2011 Mom’s Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction). She is a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and writes a monthly column for the Santa Barbara Sentinel, “The Mindful Word.” She lives in Southern California with her husband, and has three grown children. She is currently working on her doctorate in psychology and is researching the healing power of writing and creativity.

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