Old Monarch


Narrated by Courtney Marie Andrews
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 06 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 06 May 2021
Andrews McMeel Audio, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Talking about this book? Use #OldMonarch #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Some people are like monarch butterflies—solitary by nature, on a passionate search for somewhere. Critically acclaimed songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews presents her first poetry collection.
This poetry collection reads like a transformation, me, the narrator, being the figurative Old Monarch. Documenting this journey, the book is separated into three sections, "Sonoran Milkweed," "Longing In Flight," and "Eucalyptus Tree (My Arrival to Rest)." In the first stage of my journey, I explore my childhood in Arizona, and the naive assumptions of youth. At this stage in my journey, I am impressionable, seeing the world with all its nuances for the first time. Through the landscape of the Sonoran Desert, I explore some dark family dynamics and what a child sees. Several characters turn up in the early poems including my cowboy grandpa, and the single mother who raised me, despite many forthcomings. The early poems also explore my desire to see a brighter world of possibility beyond the dusty desert island, and see humans more clearly within the confounds of discovery.

In the second stage, I have left home. I am falling in love for the first time, as I become a young woman. Finally, the last stage is the old monarch's arrival to the garden. There are a lot of metaphysical and philosophical poems in this section. I arrive at the figurative garden, and I finally understand the journey at the edge of my life. There are a lot of poems in the context of a garden here, accepting mortality and the ever-changing world. These are meant to be wise old woman poems.

This audiobook features original music by Courtney Marie Andrews.
Some people are like monarch butterflies—solitary by nature, on a passionate search for somewhere. Critically acclaimed songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews presents her first poetry collection.

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format, Unabridged
ISBN 9781524867980
PRICE $8.99 (USD)
DURATION 1 Hours, 12 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 20 members

Featured Reviews

This is something special. I had to listen to it twice to fully take it in. It is evocative, and deeply personal. It is inspiring and relatable. Courtney Marie's voice is a dream, and her words will nestle in your soul. Everything I want from a poetry collection. The first Monarch Mantra really spoke to me: "Do not spend all your joy in one place. This is only the beginning There will be many places yet". Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Old Monarch is a beautiful and moving collection of poems, centering around life, nature, and their mingling. The poet’s prose is lovely and full of beautiful imagery. I also really liked the narrator of the audio edition. I recommend!

Was this review helpful?

I received an audio ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased opinion. In Old Monarch, songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews gives us her first collection of poetry. She narrates the audiobook herself, which I always enjoy so that we can hear the tone the author intended. These are love poems with a nature theme. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy poetry, love stories, and nature. I'm glad I listened to this audiobook, but I didn't connect personally with most of the poems, so I probably wouldn't read this collection again. I did enjoy the background music included at places in the audiobook!

Was this review helpful?

Loved the author's narration in this book of poems. I thought it made things more gripping and personal. The desert imagery and the ideas of Monarch butterflies really spoke to me as well. Greatly enjoyed this.

Was this review helpful?

Old Monarch: Poems by Courney Marie Adrews Listened as a audiobook narrated by the author. Filled with beautiful imagery, this book of poetry starts strong, however I felt very hard to connect to it. Some situations were very personal and therefore hard to sympathise with. I enjoyed the landscape and sediments but it did feel slightly overwritten. I enjoyed the music within this audiobook, Adrews performance was very soothing and overall a very enjoyable journey. A special thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for an ARC of this poetry collection.

Was this review helpful?

Old Monarch is a beautiful collection of vivid and immersive poems. The imagery and emotion is so undeniable that I could close my eyes and see the small details in my mind. There is a raw nostalgia to the work that made my heart ache. I listened to the audio book which is beautifully read by the author but I’m planning to pick up a physical copy so I can turn back to these poems and revisit them.

Was this review helpful?

Courtney Marie Andrews is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter from Arizona. OLD MONARCH is her debut poetry collection. It will come to no surprise to anyone who reads this collection that Andrews 2020 Grammy nomination was in the Best Americana Album category. With images of rocking chairs, railroad overalls, desert sands, a Papa with his cowboy hat, and mentions of Frank Sinatra and Montana, OLD MONARCH is Americana. In many ways, the collection feels like a road trip across America. I liked that the land that Andrews speaks of includes immigrants and indigenous people. You get the sense that they are truly seen by the narrator. All groups of people have a deep understanding of each other due to living on the same land and sharing experiences that have led to loneliness, grief, and nostalgia. “Desire and longing are the only shoes you need to climb mountains.” The title comes from a metaphor of the narrator to a monarch butterfly that flies away only to continue into the unknown, and to search for someone who sees her for who she is. The poet also uses the land to show how nature can keep a person company when they long for human touch. “Begging the dead for therapy… show me how to be braver than the grandmothers before me.” This collection connects the narrator’s earthly experiences to the celestial. There’s deep compassion for her ancestors, for their sorrows and resilience. The women in her family experienced pain, but have passed down their wisdom to the narrator. The audiobook is narrated by the poet and singer. Her music plays in the background on occasion and there are small instances where she sings. These instances are well-timed and not overpowering. (Audiobooks by musicians sometimes feel like a type of music record. This is not that.) With that said, one or two poems in the collection were clearly meant to be songs due to their rhyme scheme. “The problem is I see the Nantucket sunset once and believe it’s forever.” Overall, this is a beautiful poetry collection by an incredibly talented person. OLD MONARCH was released on April 6, 2021.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you loads to Net Galley for an ARC of CM Andrews' Old Monarch in exchange of an honest review! Getting into this one was so so easy. I put my headphones on and suddenly I was transported into a world full of children, country music, scraped knees, and never-ending friendships. Unsure whether this was the author's intention, but I loved it. Her narration was so raw and so elegant in the combination of words that she used so that it felt like a blanket of wildflowers spread around me. Old Monarch was my first poetry audiobook and it set the bar very high for the next ones. In addition to this one, I have been listening to Great Expectations. It was a relief to let that one go and get lost within Andrews' harmonic voice. The form was very pleasant as well and with the occasional music even quite original. One star down for my getting a bit lost in between the poems. I'm not sure whether it was simply my not being used to audio poem collections but I think that played some role for me. Would love to get back to a physical copy of this one in some time!

Was this review helpful?

This book got me back into poetry! It was so beautifully written and hearing the author read her own poetry really brought me into her poetry more. Her storytelling in her poetry was absolutely flawless and I can honestly say that this book just brought me back into my love of poetry! Favorite poems: Gratitude for Blue, Mother on the Lawn and Watercolor Easiest 5/5 I’ve ever given a book!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: