Cover Image: Submerge


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Member Reviews

i loved the metaphors (even though they were kinda over-used (?). This is my one of my favorite thing in poetry.

And the second&third parts were better than the first one. not the best instapoetry book i’ve read but it made my heart ache (and kinda healed it at the same time).

The stuff about depression really was so realistic, i fell relatable with it. That was the part that made it 3/5.
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I've mentioned here before that I'm not a great poetry reader, but that I also love reading poetry. Poetry is one genre where it's harder to find what your groove might be when the form is so amorphous. That's also what I love about it. Within a collection there will be pieces that wow me and pieces that I can't figure out for the life of me. But all have meaning to the author, often express raw emotion, and can contain snippets of beauty I can take away even though the piece as a whole escapes me.

Such was the way with K.Y. Robinson's Submerge, which, as a whole, I really enjoyed. I didn't know anything about Robinson when I picked this book, I just liked the cover (shocking). Inside, Robinson is billed as an introverted writer with a journalism degree. She "draws from personal experiences as a woman of color and trauma and mental illness survivor."

This collection certainly reflects that.perspective, with pieces speaking to loss, depression, self-harm, violence, and racism. Broken into three parts (Immerse, Drown, and Emerge) that speak of change with metaphors of water, Robinson's collection does not have a happy ending, but it has waves of healing, strength, and courage.

One of my favorites ended up being a piece I completely misread in hilarious fashion. In the Immerse section, it's called "ode to my toy friends" and begins like this: "oh the mechanical miracles that never break my heart or ignore my text messages." I totally got that. How inanimate objects can sometimes be better friends than people. It took me back to when I was a kid and the Breyer horses and other items that soothed me.

Then I read further and realized I was both on point and waaaay off base. "to the bullet killing the craving in a dark alley between the sheets. the rabbit hopping happily in my valley." Oh. We are talking about DIFFERENT TOYS HERE. That kind of encapsulates poetry for me. How intent can differ from interpretation and yet the art and the power remain. That's why I love poetry and keep reading. I may miss the mark, but it hits a mark for ME. Maybe that's the best kind of poetry.

It's impossible to pick a favorite piece. One of the most powerful to me is called "how are you?" The text is "i'm fine," but is footnoted. The footnote says this: "i am not fine. i'm drowning in my thoughts. i cried myself to sleep last night and it took everything in me just to get out of bed this morning. i'm exhausted. i feel hopeless and alone. i feel like no one understands. help me. help me. help me."

How many times have we answered "I'm fine" to this question, when what we really feel is the footnote? Or some version of it? I wish we were better at communicating our pain. At our desire for help, a hand, some hope. How many times have I heard "I'm fine" and not thought about a potential footnote?

STREET SENSE:  I recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys poetry, is dipping their toes in poetry, or has never read poetry. There is a trigger warning, so take heed of that.

A FAVORITE PASSAGE:  This piece is short and sums up the main theme of the collection.

duality of water

a life-giving force
can become a life taker
with each swallowing wave
this is the duality of water

COVER NERD SAYS:  I bought this solely because of the cover, so it was obviously a winner with me. I love the palette and soft nature of the ink. I think this image also shows the duality of water. Is the woman rising from the water or giving herself to it? Despite the light, soft beauty, this art is also very serious and heavy. Really well done.
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My phone wouldn't open this file on any of my apps. So I sadly couldn't read Submerge by K.Y, Robinson. Which I wish I could have, I was excited to read this.
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No, no, no. I was bored. I know poetry is not for everyone but this collection seems too easy and forgettable for me.
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This book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing and Netgalley!

"but when your eyes meet
theirs for the first time,
you become an ocean." 

Submerge is a poetry collection about love, friendship, trauma, mental illness, loss, self-harm, racism and violence, and is K.Y. Robinson’s second poetry collection. This collection is divided into three parts: immerse, drown and emerge.

"i’ve found new universes in the unfolding nebulas of your eyes.
you are the first one my heart cracked open for."

Submerge is the second book I’ve read by K.Y. Robinson and I was really excited to read this collection. I really loved her first poetry collection, The Chaos of Longing, so I had some high expectations.

"your name pooled inside me
and i swallowed every wave
to drown my love for you"

I really liked the illustrations used in this collection. It gave it something extra. As for the poems, a lot of them were really beautiful and relatable. I kept on adding and adding more titles to my 'favourite poems' list. I didn’t expect anything else since I loved K.Y. Robinson’s first poetry collection!

"when you kissed me it felt like
you were searching for someone
who didn’t exist and i let you because
i wanted to be anyone else but myself."

I’m really looking forward to K.Y. Robinson’s next poetry collection! She’s such an amazing author and all over her poems are so beautiful and or emotional. I highly recommend Submerge!

Favourite poems:
    at first sight
    the first kiss
    first love
    swept away
    a flowering friendship
    and it was so good
    waves of longing
    when they leave
    the sailor and the siren
    drowning in love
    the last time
    misplaced kisses
    i have a girlfriend
    on losing my father
    how are you?
    no one understands
    why i write
    the cycle
    what not to say to someone with mental illness
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*I received an ARC of this book from Andrews McMeel Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Robinson’s new poetry collection works with a variety of personal topics connecting them all with the image of water in different forms. As with her first collection, I approached the book knowing it is not necessarily my kind of poetry. This said, with poetry I enjoy exploring outside my comfort zone. My first experience with Robinson’s work was wonderful. I enjoyed her honesty, wit and imagery. With this second book, it was no different. 

The book is divided in three sections. I must honestly say that at first, I was fearful, I wasn’t feeling too connected to the poetic voice. But I kept going, motivated by evocative images such as: 

“when your hands felt like sunrise
over the cold horizon
i become sometimes” 

In the first section of the book, the poem “for nina simone” was breathtaking. A seemingly simple three-lined poem that says so much. This is probably one of the things I most like about Robinson, she can say lots without writing lengthy poems. I think this has to do with her honest poetic voice, it sometimes feels like one is being witness to a confession of sorts, as with: 

“i never thought loving you
would be an orchestra of ache”

Another topic that we find in this poetry collection is race. The speaker talks about her body and the relationship she and others have had with it. To speak about race in America is also to speak about violence, about how black bodies are viewed differently, marginalized and so many black voices silenced. Robinson’s poem “river running red” talks beautifully about this, in a heartbreaking way. 

“i think of my nephew and how his kind eyes and 
smile matter less than the color of his skin” 

The topic that most resonated with me on this occasion was the hurricane related poems. Living in a country that was hit by Hurricane Maria two years ago, I can relate. I found the imagery of water so familiar, so saddening, so real. 

Robinson’s poems about mental health are some of the best I have read up to today. Many poets are writing about this important topic, trying to break away the stigma. Robinson is definitely a significant voice in this matter, with her poem “in my mind” I felt seen: 

“i become a conveyor belt of creativity and productivity
and feel useless when the factory shuts down”

The book ends up with poems that are uplifting, that remind the reader that there is till hope, with lines such as: 

“i want laughter to fill in the gaps where grief has made a home”

Robinson definitely hit home with this last section, I really felt the hope I believe she was trying to convey. I ended up smiling at the screen when I finished the book. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys personal poetry, specially if raw and honest is your thing. Also, if you are looking for well-crafted imagery as an added bonus, this is a good place to find that. I do think that the book makes a good point in stating a trigger warning at the beginning, I do think the topics can be sensitive for some. Even if Robinson’s poetry is not my preferred kind of poetry, I will keep on reading her, I appreciate her voice and her talent for making me feel a varied range of emotions, but also for making me hope.
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I am aware that poetry can come from either; intense awareness of experiences or be an emotional response that’s specifically arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm. At times I feel I can understand and really appreciate what the poet is trying to convey. Other times I can only appreciate that someone took their time, experience, and energy to express it openly to the world. I find I am in the second group on this poetry collection. So I have purchased the poet’s audiobook that is read by K.Y. Robinson, herself. I feel I will get more out of a second reading while listening to the creator read her own poems in her own voice. I will update later when I get to listen/read for the second time.

Submerge was kindly provided by NetGalley. The audio-book from Audible will be available on the book's release date Oct. 8, 2019.

Update Nov 15th, 2019: My second reading, I listened to K.Y. Robinson's voice as I read along. The audiobook formed a rhythm that came more alive with her voice. I did enjoy my second reading a little more, for the audiobook added another layer to my senses
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I’d never heard of the poet before and now I’ve discovered an exciting new poet to obsess over and consume. Yeah! I completely related to all of the poems in this fantastic collection. At times it felt like the poet could read my mind and had used my inner thoughts and feelings as inspiration. The poems in Submerge made some of my best and saddest memories resurface; old lovers, times when my feelings overwhelmed me and I couldn’t breathe and the joy and pain of love, often at the same time. There were a few poems that didn’t speak to me but these were few and far between. On the whole, every poem resonated.
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Submerge wasn’t what I expected, but I really liked what it was. This powerful little collection using an interesting structure throughout the book, utilizing water in all of her metaphors, especially in the three thematic parts to her book: Immerse, Drown, and Emerge. Submerge feels like a journey to read, a journey through birth and beginnings, trauma and loss, and then healing and gratitude. I really enjoyed it. K.Y. Robinson does a great job of using imagery to pack her poems with power and her honesty shines through everything. I can safely say that I will recommend.
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Reading Submerge made me mourn old boyfriends, reminisce on stolen kisses, and recall times I’ve drowned in feelings much too deep to describe with words. Sometimes short and sweet, other times longer and more complicated, these poems gave me all the feels. 

I struggled with a rating for this one because I wade in the middle. There are poems I read that didn’t affect me as deeply as I’d hoped. And there are others that moved me more than I’d expected. All in all, I must say I appreciate the journey Submerge took me on. 

I witnessed the makings of a woman, complete with her desires, her hopes, and her need to be loved. Then I watched her drown in all the emotions that come with these things, overtaking her in waves. And as the last section of the book came to a close, this same woman emerged offering bits of hope, not only for herself, but for other women who share similar experiences. So I’d like to believe I was moved by the poems that were meant for me and the same will be true for others who read.

Thank you K.Y. Robinson for sharing these parts of yourself with us readers. Never stop lending your voice to the often voiceless. 

Special thanks to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC of Submerge in exchange for an honest review. 

3.5 Stars
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Done reading this one yesterday and I liked it so much. I have read the other book from K.Y.Robinson, and this one was just as good as their debut poetry book. I could literally feel some emotion while digging into it. Yet it was pretty relatable to my surroundings. Recommended!!
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In Submerge, K.Y. Robinson explores the struggles and trauma she has faced throughout her life and how she has grown through them to become who she is.
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''as i got older the daydreams came to an end. i saw the magic my parents weaved whenever they made something out of nothing. i learned to count my blessings and stopped wishing for someone else's life.''

I have got so many favorites in this collection that it's really difficult for me to pick up a particular set of lines to quote. 

This collection talks about a disturbed childhood, first love, desire, friendship, womanhood, longing in the first section.

The second section talks about breakup, puppy love, racism, a hurricane disaster, on losing a loved one, mental illness, online dating, depression, loneliness.

The third section talks about writing, knowing own self, acceptance, gratitude, fight, hope, mental illness, forgiveness, healing, 

I love this one so much!!!!

Thank you so much for providing me this copy of #Submerge  #NetGalley

I sure would love to reread this collection.
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This collection of poems took me by storm. The author pulls us adrift through an ocean of love grief and healing. the theme of water washes at misery and joy through nostalgia and growth The poems bring up some trigger topics such as suicide, sexual assault, trauma, and mental health. There is a warning at the beginning of the book which I appreciated given that more than one of these topics resonates with me. It also hits on love lasting and fleeting, on handed down faith and questioning, and friendship true and blooming. I found myself submerged until the very end. I loved how she carried the theme of water throughout. I plan on buying this the day it's released it will be a great addition to my poetry shelf.
Thank you, NetGalley for the arc for review.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy.

I have been eagerly awaiting K.Y. Robinson's new release and Submerge did not disappoint. I am not big on collections with one theme, but Robinson constructs such beautiful imagery and metaphor, making all the pieces flow. Some of them do read more like journal pages than poems, but I found that they all work together and many of the words resonate even without poetic structure. I really enjoyed this one.
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This Sunday I was looking for something light to read, something to go with the sun outside and the yummy vanilla eclairs I had to sweeeeeeten my weekend. I went to Netgalley and say the cover for this book, liked it, clicked on it and then Bammmm, it was poetry. Not happy, not happy at all. I took a second to think about it and then decided to give it a try.

I am not MAD AT ALL!

Now, let me tell you, my expectations for contemporary poetry are low. Like… bellow sea-level low, you know… like they go so much on the minus scale that if the universe was a circle, they’d get back to the positive scale. Ya know? I had lovely miss forgot her name, the one who wrote the princess saves herself in this story and the other one with milk and honey to smash all my hope contemporary poetry could be something of quality.

This volume was not exquisite. Some (many) poems were not really poems. They read more like pages of her diary ( which they probably were), others were confessions… They showed fragments of her life that clearly had a great impact on her growing up, on her mental health and overall life, but in all honesty, they weren’t poetry. There was one poem dedicated to her sex toys.. yup, I had to do a double take on that but it really was what I thought it was. I found it funny.

However, there are poems that do have something about them .They either paint some wonderful images or get to transmit feelings in very creative ways.

The book is structured in three parts: Immerse, Drown, Emerge. I especially liked the Emerge part. I loved how full of positivity she was, the advice she gave, how she managed to be empowering without rage and vengeance. I could feel her kindness, her resolve, I could feel she made peace with herself.

This was my favorite poem from this part:

One day

i will become

a river of light

carrying darkness

out to sea.

i will peel the husk

of my insecurities,

soak them in saltwater

and lay them to rest.

i owe this to myself.

Can you feel how lovely this poem is? She writes it with kindness towards herself, with a sense of maturity and responsibility that honestly lacks so much. She talks about putting her insecurities to rest, not killing them, not getting rid of them.. this is the self-love we need.

For better or worse, I have never lived any tormenting, heart breaking, obsession inducing love story so with some of the poems I could not resonate. Reading other reviews, I saw people complaining of the amount of sex talk in the poems. I honestly didn’t find it that obvious or present for that matter. Sure, there was THAT poem but otherwise, every other hint was in the context of her relationship with her loved one, she was absolutely not using it as a theme or as an attention grabber.. or so I felt.

So do I recommend it? Yes, kinda. I won’t go around pushing this in everyone’s face BUT while writing this review I felt like quoting poem after poem. On short, if you are interested in contemporary poetry, if you want to give it a try, if it’s something you read or are curios about, read it. I cannot guarantee zero disappointment, but it won’t be a waste of time either. I read it in like 3 hours or so 🙂
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Submerge was really a beautiful collection of poetry. I was nervous because I knew going in there would be a theme of water, and I was worried a theme would be awkward but I was wrong. K.Y. Robinson spins themes and metaphors like a master. 

Some of these poems made me laugh, tear up, and even have to put the book down once or twice. These are heavy poems, these are deep, vulnerable and so honest. From topics ranging from love, heartache, family, mental health, racial issues, sexual assault and suicide, it can be very triggering for some, so I am thankful for the trigger warnings at the very start of the book, it is a responsible and respectable thing to include.

This book kept me in a certain kind of atmosphere and lead me wherever it wanted to take me. It's enchanting and beautifully written. I can't wait to read more of K.Y. Robinson's work.
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I think the theme of water is very interesting. In many of the poems in 'Submerge' it is used in an interesting way. However, most of the poems did not really resonate with me. They seemed to fall flat, and because they mostly hinted towards sex or masturbation, it became slightly trashy after a while. There's nothing wrong with a bit of trash in poems, but combine it with the flatness, and this collection of poetry sinks into the 'nice, but not nice enough'-realm.
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Content warnings: trauma, sexual trauma, low self-esteem, racism, reference to guns, violence

This was a highly anticipated read for me, but it wasn't as enjoyable as I thought it was going to be. As always, Robinson weaves metaphors beautifully, especially the motif of water. It is not easy to create an entire collection based around a metaphor, and at times, Robinson did it amazingly well, but I think this is where my rating comes from, the fact that there was a lot of repeating metaphors and motifs. After a while, it just didn't impact me as much. 

I also only connected with some of the poems and some lines in the collection, but I think this is because of the personal quality of the poems. I can see Robinson's growth from their debut, The Chaos of Longing, which I adored. I look forward to reading more of their work in the near future.
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⭐⭐ 2 Stars

A collection of heartfelt poetry that sometimes bordered on the line between lyrical and amaturish. 

Although I enjoyed the politically relevant poetry I found some of the shorter poems to just not pack the same kind of punch as the longer ones. It felt like the writer was just trying to fill up space between the longer poems so this could be a book rather than a pamphlet. 

My favourite poems in the collection were about the writer's experiences as a woman of colour and how this has impacted her life personally along with the lives of her family and friends. I would love to read a collection that focussed more on this rather than the female experience as a whole. And I would read K.Y. Robinson work again because it takes a good poet to have an entire book using one motif and for it not to get boring. 

But I only bookmarked 7 poems out of this 160-page collection which summarises my feelings on it as a whole. Not life-changing but not terrible. 

⚠Trigger Warnings⚠: mental illness, sexual trauma, self-harm, racism, and violence.

I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley📚 in exchange for an honest review.
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