Kristiana Reed’s pre-print review of SMITTEN

Thank you to the incredible Kristiana Reed for this advance review of SMITTEN, Indie Blu(e)’s latest poetry anthology which will be published this Fall. 

Candice Daquin and the editors at Indie Blu(e) Publishing have worked their magic once more in raising a powerful chorus of voices.

Daquin is a woman who has always sought to empower others from the first moment I became acquainted with her work and her nature. I also cannot think of a better person and writer to spearhead a body of work which celebrates love between two women. 

The writers and styles within this collection, which Daquin has woven seamlessly together, are varied – eclectic and powerful yet with the same, strong undercurrent coursing through every piece that this is what love looks like.

It is possible people will read the sub-heading of SMITTEN and assume this is an exclusive collection; only accessible if you are woman who loves or has loved a woman. But, what is truly wonderful is this isn’t true at all. Instead, SMITTEN holds and nurtures love poems to be read and enjoyed by anyone. After all, for centuries, we have consumed and enjoyed love poems written about women, by men. Why should the fact that the poet is a woman cause the response to be any different? 

‘Testimony’ by Carolyn Martin is one of the best examples of this. The nature of love and relationships does not suddenly change if it is not heterosexual; the essence of loving someone beyond belief even on the days they annoy you to distraction, remains. 

However, even though SMITTEN is not exclusive, it must be recognised as an anthology paving a new way for literature. All of the writers are female and all of the subject matter is female, lesbian, bisexual and more. Pieces such as ‘Lesbian’ by Avital Abraham and ‘Pulse’ by Melissa Fadul drive home why Daquin’s decision to create a collection like this is needed and welcomed. 

Too often we sideline LGBTQ+ work as a genre of its own, when it should be mainstream; literary works which are written by people to be enjoyed by people, no matter what their race, sexuality, gender and/or religion. 

Yet, until this happens, I applaud Daquin and Indie Blu(e) Publishing for brazenly making a stand. Until labels are but words and not identifiers, it is important that writers like those in this collection share their voices and stories, ever-lasting love and heartbreak, and their hopes and fears, to remind the literary world they will be heard, no matter what the response may be. 

Kristiana Reed August, 2019.

SMITTEN will be available this Fall via all good book sellers. For bulk orders, ARC copies or more information please contact Candice Daquin or Indie Blu(e) directly or go to the SMITTEN Facebook website




28 thoughts on “Kristiana Reed’s pre-print review of SMITTEN

  1. Thank you so much my friend. I really appreciate you reading it. I hope you will support the project too if you can. It has some amazing poets. I am very proud of them all. Thank you again!

  2. Thank you so much Karen! The amazingly talented Mitch Green did this cover, you can find him on FB he does indie covers for many poets and I love his work. I think he did an incredible job of this cover too! Thank you for reading this! I hope you will consider buying a copy of SMITTEN when it comes out. The poetry is really incredible and there’s such a wealth of talent in this collection. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for reading dearest one. I am so proud of the writers we chose for this collection. There are some amazing poems. I think Kristi wrote a really great review because she made the valid point that you do not need to be a lesbian or bisexual to appreciate the poetry and the talent therein and that is exactly right. This is just a collection of terrific poets writing about loving women in all forms. I am very proud of all of them and though it has been a lot of work it’s been wonderful to see these incredible women come together. Thank you so much my friend for reading this.

  4. Thank you so much Bob. This is really a work of love and I think Kristi’s review nailed it. She is a terrific editor and reviewer – basically the best there is and I was so honored that she not only worked on SMITTEN and helped with the editing but also wrote this amazing review. Thank you so much for your support of this project my friend

  5. Reblogged this on randomwordbyruth… and commented:
    Too often we sideline LGBTQ+ work as a genre of its own, when it should be mainstream; literary works which are written by people to be enjoyed by people, no matter what their race, sexuality, gender and/or religion.

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