Selftitled, By Nicole Morning, 95 pgs.

Nicole Morning’s debut book is a combination of poetry and short vignettes in pocket-size. To be frank, I don’t understand most poetry. However, Morning’s words are straight-forward free verse that border on stream of consciousness with occasionally repeated words and phrases. It makes this poetry much easier to swallow. Still, I would’ve preferred seeing this book be all prose or poetry and not a mixture of both.

Prose is where the author shines. Selftitled is a quick and easy read as far as the time commitment goes, but it’s anything but unassuming when it comes to the content. Take some time to digest this one. It’s more than simply tales of hooking up via Tinder and smoking crack. These pages show the intense desire that can be found behind all of these acts. What centers the majority of this book is the desire to find connection, written by someone who seemingly has never been able to do so. The honesty is there, as is the yearning for wholeness.

Morning’s writing is smooth and easy to read. Yet her tales hurt like a motherfucker, probably because for a lot of my life I’ve also searched for connections with others, whether romantically or otherwise. Even if the means by which Morning and I seek to fill the gaping hole in ourselves differs, it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who wishes for something we rarely speak of. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this tiny book, but am so glad I gave it a chance. It’s a pleasant, welcome surprise. –Kurt Morris (tridentcafe.com/trident-press-titles)