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Even the Saints Audition

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Even The Saints Audition: A book of poems exploring the relationship between blackness, shame, and what it is to live a life tied to the church. Rich with historical context and a deeply engaging personal narrative.


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Even The Saints Audition: A book of poems exploring the relationship between blackness, shame, and what it is to live a life tied to the church. Rich with historical context and a deeply engaging personal narrative.

59 review for Even the Saints Audition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Reading Tam Ishly

    This collection gave me The Poet X vibes when I started reading it. The book is divided into three sections or Acts tackling with themes like feminism, religion, family, relationships. The first two sections really got me. The lines are hard hitting. Somehow the hype died down a little when I reached the third section/act. I somehow could not relate with the lines dealing with sexual content and for me it sounds like a bit insensitive. I like the collection for o This collection gave me The Poet X vibes when I started reading it. The book is divided into three sections or Acts tackling with themes like feminism, religion, family, relationships. The first two sections really got me. The lines are hard hitting. Somehow the hype died down a little when I reached the third section/act. I somehow could not relate with the lines dealing with sexual content and for me it sounds like a bit insensitive. I like the collection for one time read. Thank you #NetGalley for the book #EvenTheSaintsAudition.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Psaila

    I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Actual rating 1.5 stars (rounded up to 2) This poetry collection talks about spirituality and religion. I must admit, I am nor spiritual neither a religious person - at all, so it didn’t end up to be my cup of tea. Adding to that, I didn’t like the writing style as well as some poem designs. On a more positive note, there was a verse in a certain poem that I re I received a digital advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Actual rating 1.5 stars (rounded up to 2) This poetry collection talks about spirituality and religion. I must admit, I am nor spiritual neither a religious person - at all, so it didn’t end up to be my cup of tea. Adding to that, I didn’t like the writing style as well as some poem designs. On a more positive note, there was a verse in a certain poem that I really liked and I related to: “When he leans in I jump & hold my cry Until I get home; a skill he’s helped me Practice. I’m still me. I’m still me. I’m still My happiest alone, have to fight myself.” Although I did not like it, I still recommend it to those who likes to read about spirituality and religious related books and poems.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dre

    "Time is rumored to heal all wounds. No one claims it erases them." Even the Saints Audition pulled me in closely, held me tighter than a distant relative quickly becoming familiar, and sat right next until I devoured the very last poem. I could not put this book down. And while this book was not on my radar, I was instantly lured in with one look of the cover. Even if you weren't sure of the subject matter, the title and beautifully haunting cover illustration alone would make the most unbother "Time is rumored to heal all wounds. No one claims it erases them." Even the Saints Audition pulled me in closely, held me tighter than a distant relative quickly becoming familiar, and sat right next until I devoured the very last poem. I could not put this book down. And while this book was not on my radar, I was instantly lured in with one look of the cover. Even if you weren't sure of the subject matter, the title and beautifully haunting cover illustration alone would make the most unbothered person curious. So, I went into this poetry collection with a completely open mind and was pleasantly surprised. Even the Saints Audition reads like a series of letters to the Church Girls who've experienced shame and fear of looming punishment for committing sin. And because I was raised in the church, I could relate so much to the experiences Jackson highlights in her poems. She confesses "impure" thoughts, mourns the loss of her "fun" aunt, and shares moments of overwhelming depression in such a raw and lyrical way, I somehow felt connected to her-- as if I was eavesdropping in on her life's story. Jackson made me feel things, made me question things, and made me hopeful that she'd found a peace in sharing her truth with such brilliant metaphors and rhythm. Though Jackson and I may not share the same feelings about growing up in the church, I appreciate the honesty and heart she poured into each of these poems. It's def worth the read. Major thanks to Netgalley and Button Poetry for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Honestly when I started this book I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy it. It’s one of very few that I’ve read in this genre and I realized I’m not as religious as I was before. The writing was beautiful though and I kept reading even though I felt some of it was provocative. I would recommend it to a mature audience that’s very religious.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zahiryn Vélez Hernández

    *I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* Like all of Button’s books, “Even the Saints Audition” was transparent, painfully honest, brimming with sharp edges and hard questions. The blurb says it explores “the relationship between blackness, shame, and what it is to live a life tied to the church…” It does exactly what it promises, with a gripping narrative that is extremely personal and visceral. Jason tackles religion —tackles God and her co *I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* Like all of Button’s books, “Even the Saints Audition” was transparent, painfully honest, brimming with sharp edges and hard questions. The blurb says it explores “the relationship between blackness, shame, and what it is to live a life tied to the church…” It does exactly what it promises, with a gripping narrative that is extremely personal and visceral. Jason tackles religion —tackles God and her complicated relationship with Him and His church and everyone in her congregation— with brutal sincerity. It doesn’t shy away from all the murky waters the church can create for women awakening to their sexuality, or dealing with mental health, or simply asking questions. And her faith shines through, never lukewarm, but scolding hot and eager to be found. I loved the recurrent use of Job and his story, and the complexities of not knowing, as a Christian, what one must take from it. That God will protect us? That God will bet on us? Though my favorite poems were those full of rebellion, angry and questioning, I really appreciated how the book came full circle, starting with lines like “God will give you nothing…” and “She reminds her Eve was also a curious woman, who God cursed…”, but ending with two poems in which she fully embraces her faith, with all its complications and limitations: “I practice praying while he snores in my ear. His sighs are my cheat code. God must have a soft spot for me. I’m not dead yet. I perfect my amen to close our future prayers. I nudge him to roll on his side & soften his breathing. He reaches out to hold me without opening an eye. Thank you God, amen I whisper. How can I claim God doesn’t listen to sinners? How else could I get such a blessing?” - I can’t say I fully loved the poetry, because its technical and figurative constructions left me wanting for… a little more. The most exploratory pieces, structure wise, lost me. But I’m not saying the poetry was bad, because it wasn’t; just not my type. Despite this, I fully recommend it to fans of the genre. The thoughts Jackson shared in her poems still have me thinking as I write this review, days after closing the book. The lines were compelling, jarring in the way only delicious sentences can be, thought provoking, soul barred, open, ready to swallow the reader like the ground that swallowed Korah. What else can you demand in a book? What else can you demand in a poet? Trigger warnings: racism, mental illness, suicidal thoughts.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jess M

    As a brown person who grew up in a very white Catholic Church, this book hit really hard for me. Not everyone will understand the importance of this and no matter what, when questioning something as controversial as the Bible, there is no “right” way to do this. What I appreciate about this book is instead of purely dismantling and dismissing religion, the reality shines through from the author’s experiences growing up and and we are able to see firsthand the validity of the questions of a young As a brown person who grew up in a very white Catholic Church, this book hit really hard for me. Not everyone will understand the importance of this and no matter what, when questioning something as controversial as the Bible, there is no “right” way to do this. What I appreciate about this book is instead of purely dismantling and dismissing religion, the reality shines through from the author’s experiences growing up and and we are able to see firsthand the validity of the questions of a young person growing up with this rigid concept of sinner versus saint which can be very harmful for kids, especially when it seems like there is no gray area. Raych uses humor, stone cold facts from the Bible itself, and tackles topics all the way from drug use to masturbation, family addictions, sexism etc... I applaud the author for her honesty and can’t wait for her next book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Siobhán

    *I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book.* "Even the Saints Audition" is a collection of poetry navigating the abyss between religious belief and sexual self-discovery and independence. There are also other poems about religion & family, going to Church when feeling like a sinner because of one's mind and thoughts. I quite liked the collection. The poems were brutally honest, creating an intimacy between focalizer and reader. Howe *I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book.* "Even the Saints Audition" is a collection of poetry navigating the abyss between religious belief and sexual self-discovery and independence. There are also other poems about religion & family, going to Church when feeling like a sinner because of one's mind and thoughts. I quite liked the collection. The poems were brutally honest, creating an intimacy between focalizer and reader. However, I felt that the poems were connected but I also found that many poems weren't going anywhere - at least for me. As a white agnostic I lack knowledge & experience in that very specific setting, yet I enjoyed them. I learned a lot. 4 Stars

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca L.

    I’m a huge fan of spiritual poetry, so I was interested to read this book. I really enjoyed the author’s unique perspective on growing up in the African American church. My favorite pieces were the ones in which she interpreted the book of Job and struggled with issues of the double standards that many women face in the church. As a fellow church girl, I can relate to many of her struggles; however, I was not prepared for the graphic nature of some of these poems. I would have preferred some typ I’m a huge fan of spiritual poetry, so I was interested to read this book. I really enjoyed the author’s unique perspective on growing up in the African American church. My favorite pieces were the ones in which she interpreted the book of Job and struggled with issues of the double standards that many women face in the church. As a fellow church girl, I can relate to many of her struggles; however, I was not prepared for the graphic nature of some of these poems. I would have preferred some type of warning or indication because many of the pieces were triggering and dealt with very mature content. Not for the easily offended or faint of heart- this visceral collection is not your typical book of religious poems.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dora Okeyo

    This right here is looking at what it means to be righteous, exploring the understanding of Scripture in real life struggles. You'll love titles like "Jonah was trapped before he met the fish" and take a step back to feel what the author invites you to experience on every time you come across "On Job." The author incorporates various formats for the pieces herein, so you are up for some surprises if you think this collection follows the normal book formatting. Thanks Netgalley for the eARC, and This right here is looking at what it means to be righteous, exploring the understanding of Scripture in real life struggles. You'll love titles like "Jonah was trapped before he met the fish" and take a step back to feel what the author invites you to experience on every time you come across "On Job." The author incorporates various formats for the pieces herein, so you are up for some surprises if you think this collection follows the normal book formatting. Thanks Netgalley for the eARC, and to the publisher- I love the cover.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stuti Sharma

    I wish I could time travel and give this book to my 14 year old self. Rachel has taken time to explore the shadows of religion, the shadows of light, and has emerged with this book, her own testament of sorts and one that feeds and feeds and feeds.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Demarcus Robinson

    Absolutely beautiful. Will definitely be rereading a few times.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maya Williams

    This collection is potent in its beautiful transparency in the tensions faith may bring in mental health, sex, and family. It is worth your time. I couldn’t put it down.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elke

    terror is a sinner's uniform. all my panic attacks are a couple sizes too big. forgotten hand-me-downs. it's poetry time again! i received this collection as an arc from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion BUT it came out last week so you can go ahead and order/request it already. this was phenomenal. i was absolutely blown away. my copy has more than 70 highlights, which is a lot for a book just shy of 100 pages. i was baptised by my own choice. how can i show god i'm commi/>i terror is a sinner's uniform. all my panic attacks are a couple sizes too big. forgotten hand-me-downs. it's poetry time again! i received this collection as an arc from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion BUT it came out last week so you can go ahead and order/request it already. this was phenomenal. i was absolutely blown away. my copy has more than 70 highlights, which is a lot for a book just shy of 100 pages. i was baptised by my own choice. how can i show god i'm committed without practising to drown? obviously, poetry is always a deeply personal thing. you can feel it here. on the other hand, poetry connects people and sometimes others see themselves in what you wrote and it becomes personal for them too. (it's me, i'm them.) this hit really close to home. i really connected to the stories and words about growing up in a church and questioning things/being questioned by the church. obviously, as a white reviewer, there are parts of this collecion i'll miss - WHICH IS GOOD, not eveything needs to be catered to white people. it's just important to note when i talk about seeing myself in these poems. sadness is a wolf. you could think you've built everything strong but with a woosh, sadness can huff & puff & blow all that happy down. then your other feelings eat you. "church" is not the only theme here but having never read something that feels like this, it is what my reading was focussed on. i know this is important info going in for some people: the collection questions faith a lot and show a lot of pain because of the church. i read the end as something positive and hopeful and about finding or (re)creating a connection to belief in a different way. however, as always and especially with poems, this is just my interpretation! we pray on the edge of my bed before we sleep. i still get a nightmare. my parents pray to remind god they're still here. i stay quiet & hope god forgets me. i really liked the recurring pieces on job. i absolutely loved the writing, which made me feel inspired and also slightly sad that it is nowhere near my own (shorter) style of poems. i will definitely be rereading this often and would highly recommend it if you think this is something you might be interested in. i sin & misery wanders into my home. i get saved & it never leaves. content warnings: masturbation, guilt, shame, suicidal idolation, suicide attempt, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, disordered eating, ableism by the church, death, funerals (including one for a baby). possibly more i've missed all of my art betrays me. all of my art leaves without asking permission.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lily

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joanne1993gmail.com

  17. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ogutu

  19. 4 out of 5

    ltronc1

  20. 5 out of 5

    Riley Lang

  21. 4 out of 5

    Darius Malik

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sierra Hunter

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Helen Moore

  25. 5 out of 5

    Yasaswi ||☆Caught up in books☆

  26. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Button Poetry

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aliesha

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Jackson Berry

  31. 5 out of 5

    Shay Manerikar

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

  33. 5 out of 5

    Porsha M. Allen

  34. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  35. 5 out of 5

    Raven Black

  36. 4 out of 5

    Laura Bopp

  37. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  39. 4 out of 5

    Libby

  40. 5 out of 5

    M.

  41. 5 out of 5

    Alyazia

  42. 5 out of 5

    Saba Mir

  43. 4 out of 5

    Emma Kiefer

  44. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Funderburg

  45. 4 out of 5

    Carl Arthur

  46. 5 out of 5

    Sakina Jamal

  47. 5 out of 5

    Xadlysha Taynish

  48. 4 out of 5

    Lorenzo Imperitura

  49. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha

  50. 5 out of 5

    Simi

  51. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  52. 4 out of 5

    Shawna Landin

  53. 4 out of 5

    Ayooluwa

  54. 4 out of 5

    RSterling

  55. 5 out of 5

    Kari

  56. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  57. 4 out of 5

    Thistle & Verse

  58. 4 out of 5

    Khwima Ngwira

  59. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

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