Maps for the Modern World

Narrated by Valerie June Hockett
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Pub Date Apr 06 2021 | Archive Date Apr 27 2021
Andrews McMeel Audio | Andrews McMeel Publishing

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A poetic call for mindfulness, creativity, and analog real-world connection in an increasingly disconnected world from singer-songwriter Valerie June.

Maps for the Modern World is a collection of poems and original illustrations about cultivating community, awareness, and harmony with our surroundings as we move fearlessly toward our dreams. 

I love you
Like a fall leaf dancing
And twirling in the wind
Softly landing,
Returning to the warm earth
Make new

This audiobook contains a PDF supplement of selected illustrations and poems.
A poetic call for mindfulness, creativity, and analog real-world connection in an increasingly disconnected world from singer-songwriter Valerie June.

Maps for the Modern World is a collection of...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format, Unabridged
ISBN 9781524867324
PRICE $8.99 (USD)
DURATION 1 Hours, 23 Minutes, 1 Seconds

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 24 members

Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. It was short and full of inspiration. All the feels. I like poetry, so it’s not surprising that I would like this. It is one to revisit. I listened to the audio version, but I would love to read the book as well. I think you get a different feel when you read poetry quietly.
Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion

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I love Valerie June's soulful music, so I was excited for the opportunity to listen to her read this book of poetry. Her reading is sing-songy with a charming southern drawl with the occasional giggle - I could hear her smile and loved seeing what words she drew out and which she raced through or whispered. The poetry is similar to many popular modern poets like Cleo Wade or Rupi Kaur who write short truths, life lessons that are somewhere between inspirational quotes and poetry. After listening, I bought a presale copy so I can have the physical version to refer back to.

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"Maps for the Modern World'' is a book that can be appreciated by a specific audience in a specific mood. For people who tend to not like the form of modern poetry this much - and, partially, I'm one of them - this might not be the poetry collection for you.
Personally, I'm not sure I'd categorize this entire book as poetry. Some of it definitely was, but a lot of this was two-line quotes that, however beautiful, I don't think qualify as poetry to me. Also there was a lot of "space bar poetry", aka sentences separated by space bars so they look like poems.

However, even though I wouldn't consider a big part of this book as poetry, I still found this collection of gorgeous quotes very nice. The essence of it emphasized on self-empowerment, self-love and trying to take control over how you look at the sadness around you in order to enjoy life more. It was very spiritual, positive and optimistic and it felt like a self-help book with all the empowering quotes! I'd recommend it if you want to read something that will make you feel happy!

About the audiobook, the author is narrating it herself, which made it super special! She narrates it with so much passion and love, you could tell from her voice and that made it even better!

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Excellent book of poems read by the author with her fantastic accent. As a southern breed woman myself, I find comfort in a southern drawl. I am also a huge fan of Valerie June's music although I didn't put two and two together until after I finished that audiobook.

Just listen to it. Chances are you'll find a few poems you relate to.

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“This book is a laboratory of poetic experiments in the alchemy of life. While we all hope for a brighter world, it can be difficult to see how to navigate through the raging storms. I have to believe we are the creators of the world we see each day and that the stillness that can be felt in the wake of every storm holds the key to the map of all change. A map that can be drawn only by your own hand.”- from the Foreword of Maps of the Modern World

Maps for the Modern World is a wonderful poetry collection for me to have read at the beginning of National Poetry Month. When I saw the bright cover, sun/compass illustration, and Valerie June’s name, I knew that I had to read it.

As I write this review, I’m listening to/watching Valerie June’s KEXP performance, and she radiates warmth through the screen. I think that she was able to cultivate that sense of warmth within this collection as well. I will say that her style of poetry isn’t a style that I naturally gravitate towards. It is a kind of poetry that I don’t know the name for, but I’ll just call it abstraction poetry (think Rupi Kaur & Lang Leav). The sort of poetry that is focused on these big concepts like love, life, sadness, triumph, but tries to be more direct in what it wants the reader to take away rather than making use of poetic devices. I think that this sort of poetry resonates with a lot of people who find that poetry is too stuffy and purposefully inaccessible. Maps for the Modern World is filled to the brim with abstractions and is sometimes a little bit woo-woo in a way that reminds me of reading a Dr. Bronner’s castile soap bottle, but perhaps those are the reasons that I adore this collection.

In the acknowledgements, Hockett mentions that she started writing poetry everyday after the death of her father. So it makes sense that many of these poems are about the transformative nature of death and endings, about death being final but also being a transfer of energy. She also explores agency. There is a whole poem about how our civic duty does not end at the ballot box, how our civic responsibilities cannot be passed onto politicians. She writes about periods, pads, and tampons. She writes about God and spirituality but doesn’t proselytize. Her poetry is so different from, yet so similar to her music.

My favorite part about this collection is that she writes about her experiences as a Black woman in some of these poems, and there are little doodles throughout of a figure with kinky, free-flowing hair. I love that these poems are representations (though not always directly) of Black womanhood that is rife with kindness, gentleness, quirkiness, occasional light vulgarity—Black womanhood that is ever working towards compassionate justice, committed to mindfulness and the natural world, and always open to exploring uncharted depths no matter what others may think.

There are benefits to both the physical text (with its many adorable doodles and to see the words and line breaks on the page) and the audio (because Valerie June has the coolest Tennessee accent and a beautiful voice).

All in all, there are so many pieces from this collection that resonate with me: “Responsibilities After Voting,” “A Goddess Mantra (To Be Repeated),” “Spirit’s Spell,” “Ode to Fuckin’ Feelin’,” and “Comfortably” particularly stood out. This collection is like a warm mug of tea the way that it radiates warmth and suggests being present for the moment at hand, being mindful.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Audio for providing me with an ARC and the opportunity to listen to this lovely collection in exchange for an honest review.

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Maps for the Modern World by musician Valerie June Hockett is a thoughtful collection of poetry that make us consider our perspectives, actions, and universal consciousness. There is varied structure and delivery for poems. I listened to the audiobook, which is delightfully narrated by the author, in a lilting, excited southern accent.

Thank you Andrews McMeel Audio and NetGalley for providing this audiobook ARC.

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This collection of poetry was such a treat. It was soothing and lyrical. A beautiful call for change and a better world. An ode to the power of transformation. A reminder to seek joy, stillness, and gratitude in every moment.

The author's narration was stunning. I loved her rhythm, and delightful Southern accent.

'When you don't see a path before you, maybe it's time to fly"

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for early access to this collection.

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MAPS FOR THE MODERN WORLD exceeded my expectations. The author has a strong voice on the page, the message delivered is hopeful and confident, and the narration is lyrical. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading poetry.

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Ive been really into poetry for national poetry month and this one really surprised me. I liked the different poems that all linked together in some way for me. I was really able to relate to them and would like to read more books like this in the future.

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It’s been a while since I read/listened to poetry and forgot how enjoyable it is. This audio-book was narrated by the author and listening to her was amazing. The ebb and flow of her voice made a big difference and I was fully immersed in the words.
I know I will be listening to this again as inspiration and quote it as many times as I can. Valerie June Hockett has gotten herself a fan!
Thank you, Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for giving me the opportunity to listen to this book.

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