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GRIT: a poetry collection

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The polite transphobia from adult women is no longer keeping you hostage as you sob an earthquake in your ex-boyfriend's car. Grit is a transgender coming of age story. There are no beautiful rainbows here, no whispers, but raw cries from somewhere primal. "Silas' words dart in and out like a scalpel revealing layers of flesh that have been given-or-taken-by lovers, parents The polite transphobia from adult women is no longer keeping you hostage as you sob an earthquake in your ex-boyfriend's car. Grit is a transgender coming of age story. There are no beautiful rainbows here, no whispers, but raw cries from somewhere primal. "Silas' words dart in and out like a scalpel revealing layers of flesh that have been given-or-taken-by lovers, parents, cruelty, and fate." - Sean Felix


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The polite transphobia from adult women is no longer keeping you hostage as you sob an earthquake in your ex-boyfriend's car. Grit is a transgender coming of age story. There are no beautiful rainbows here, no whispers, but raw cries from somewhere primal. "Silas' words dart in and out like a scalpel revealing layers of flesh that have been given-or-taken-by lovers, parents The polite transphobia from adult women is no longer keeping you hostage as you sob an earthquake in your ex-boyfriend's car. Grit is a transgender coming of age story. There are no beautiful rainbows here, no whispers, but raw cries from somewhere primal. "Silas' words dart in and out like a scalpel revealing layers of flesh that have been given-or-taken-by lovers, parents, cruelty, and fate." - Sean Felix

30 review for GRIT: a poetry collection

  1. 5 out of 5

    silas denver melvin

    wondered since release if i should review my own book, because of course i am going to be biased, & what are the rules when it comes to self-review? but i thumb thru this collection of mine & still find myself prideful of the work here. so let me not deny myself what i know is true: grit is a damn strong debut book (which would not exist without the incredible help of rebecca). it is truly the culmination of nearly 20 years of practice, experience, love, ache, & overcoming. it is an important pi wondered since release if i should review my own book, because of course i am going to be biased, & what are the rules when it comes to self-review? but i thumb thru this collection of mine & still find myself prideful of the work here. so let me not deny myself what i know is true: grit is a damn strong debut book (which would not exist without the incredible help of rebecca). it is truly the culmination of nearly 20 years of practice, experience, love, ache, & overcoming. it is an important piece for the trans community, & it is a book i am delighted to say is my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Edeh

    an incredible collection. will be thinking about it for a while.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    impeccable. its so fucking beautiful and gut wrenching. it's gonna make you GAHhhhhhhh. i marked something from nearly every page bc its so fucking good. also it's just a next level experience to read trans poetry, it's so relatable, and related. everyone go get it!! and read it!! i registered on am*zon for this book. some tasty snippets 4 u: "i am a good beggar. have the teeth for it. knelt for you for my knighting. waiting, a trembling dog, for you to name me beloved or beheaded." "you wake up impeccable. its so fucking beautiful and gut wrenching. it's gonna make you GAHhhhhhhh. i marked something from nearly every page bc its so fucking good. also it's just a next level experience to read trans poetry, it's so relatable, and related. everyone go get it!! and read it!! i registered on am*zon for this book. some tasty snippets 4 u: "i am a good beggar. have the teeth for it. knelt for you for my knighting. waiting, a trembling dog, for you to name me beloved or beheaded." "you wake up in the same dysphoric body you always are & kiss your wrists sweetly because no one else is here to do it & you ask god for her blessing, please, one day, here, to be loved & loving & unbodied & she is quiet like she always is"

  4. 5 out of 5

    rrolland

    This hits so fucking hard ❤️

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    the closer to my own experience, the more poetry seems to hurt. it's difficult to accept the reality of why every poem in this collection made me cry and have to take a break and go for a run before continuing on. where I am now in my life I don't think I'll ever be at peace with myself as something different than what the people I love most envisioned, I'm barely out to myself. reading poetry like this is both tormenting and nurturing me, there's some sort of masochistic pleasure in being flaye the closer to my own experience, the more poetry seems to hurt. it's difficult to accept the reality of why every poem in this collection made me cry and have to take a break and go for a run before continuing on. where I am now in my life I don't think I'll ever be at peace with myself as something different than what the people I love most envisioned, I'm barely out to myself. reading poetry like this is both tormenting and nurturing me, there's some sort of masochistic pleasure in being flayed bare with words even if it's only in the privacy of my own mind. can't recommend this enough and can't wait to read whatever new project Melvin creates.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rat

    "a cowboy is all the men you were afraid of when you were little because you knew you wanted to grow up to be like them & you knew kids like you weren't supposed to want to grow up to be cowboys." Grit is melvin's love letter to the trans masc experience, of its forging. with all the scrapes and bloodied knees that come along with any good romance. "a cowboy is all the men you were afraid of when you were little because you knew you wanted to grow up to be like them & you knew kids like you weren't supposed to want to grow up to be cowboys." Grit is melvin's love letter to the trans masc experience, of its forging. with all the scrapes and bloodied knees that come along with any good romance.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Cosgrove

    True to its title, this collection gets under your nails and in your boots; it sticks with you. Silas is raw and poignant with his words and I can't wait to see what else comes from him in the future. True to its title, this collection gets under your nails and in your boots; it sticks with you. Silas is raw and poignant with his words and I can't wait to see what else comes from him in the future.

  8. 4 out of 5

    millie

    this was really good, i look forward to rereading in the future and any more work from silas. this was excellent. faves: A Valentines Day Spent Home, Alone and Twenty (the line "you have outgrown your gender and your jeans" hit me like a truck) this was really good, i look forward to rereading in the future and any more work from silas. this was excellent. faves: A Valentines Day Spent Home, Alone and Twenty (the line "you have outgrown your gender and your jeans" hit me like a truck)

  9. 5 out of 5

    sj

    a collection that has to be devoured. brutal & honest. obsessed. it will now become a bedside book :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    AnarchoPansy

    Normally don't really read poetry in my spare time but this is so good!! Cuts your heart open. Also I love all the cowboy references Normally don't really read poetry in my spare time but this is so good!! Cuts your heart open. Also I love all the cowboy references

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Rijsdijk

    Silas is an exquisite poet and it was an honour to publish his debut poetry collection with him.

  12. 5 out of 5

    saru

    incredible. amazing. gonna buy the physical copy as soon as i can. these poems have brought me solace in two very cold lonely nights. and they have definitely shaken me to my core. kudos to silas denver melvin for creating with such honesty. my three favourite poems in no particular order: hey cowboy, pissing contest (or an interrogation on behalf of a lover who is no longer mine) and in response to 'when you have children'. incredible. amazing. gonna buy the physical copy as soon as i can. these poems have brought me solace in two very cold lonely nights. and they have definitely shaken me to my core. kudos to silas denver melvin for creating with such honesty. my three favourite poems in no particular order: hey cowboy, pissing contest (or an interrogation on behalf of a lover who is no longer mine) and in response to 'when you have children'.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dany Waller

    Phenomenal, “Hey Cowboy” is my favorite. Have a feeling I will be coming back to read it again.

  14. 5 out of 5

    August

    Incredible. Silas does such a good job of capturing the trans experience, especially the dirty, gritty (aptly named) parts most people are too scared to touch on. My favorite collection by far.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    This hit in all the right places.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elliot

    Content warning: (view spoiler)[transphobia, suicide, death, guns, car accident, slurs, satanism, blood, sex, animal abuse, depression, murder, dysphoria, self harm (hide spoiler)] This book really fulfilled my craving going in, delivering Silas’ work in its prime with his trademark screaming brutal honestly and humanity. He delivers the most intimate, vulnerable, and raw moments, so perfectly arranged- shocking yet artisanal. His work always has such a guttural emotional feeing to me, and it’s n Content warning: (view spoiler)[transphobia, suicide, death, guns, car accident, slurs, satanism, blood, sex, animal abuse, depression, murder, dysphoria, self harm (hide spoiler)] This book really fulfilled my craving going in, delivering Silas’ work in its prime with his trademark screaming brutal honestly and humanity. He delivers the most intimate, vulnerable, and raw moments, so perfectly arranged- shocking yet artisanal. His work always has such a guttural emotional feeing to me, and it’s not lost in the length, in fact, the compilation really helps his capabilities shine. The moments of sunshine amongst the laments of loss, regret, fear, and alienation feel extraordinary. There was nothing not to love here, for a debut book, I was thoroughly impressed with the quality, formatting, and editing, it was amazingly polished making a great addition to any collection. GRIT walks you through the realization of gender, understanding your place in the world, the magnitude or irrelevance of situations, and the powerful turbulence of emotions. It’s a coming of age story packaged so uniquely in these poems, different but alike, they truly do all belong together. From the genderlessness of childhood, to fearfully using a men’s restroom in the shaky comforts of your dysphoria hoodie, you see such detailed snapshots of trans life. Montage and it’s descriptions of the difficult feelings of removing clothes as a trans person, Hey Cowboy made me cry with its accuracy of perceiving masculinity and longing for it, When did You know You were Trans? and The Stubborn And Artless Act were both fantastic too. I’ve described his work this way, but I need to restate it here: it’s like a heavy cry, overwhelmingly emotional, but cathartic. Summary: Readability: ★★★★★, I’m a stickler for putting it straightforward if a book will be hard to read because of the content, but I’m really happy to report I have no complaints or concerns here. Silas covers plenty of dark and difficult topics, but the merely brief and artistic glimpses his poetry provides, it shouldn’t put strain on the reader. Entertainment: ★★★★★, Needless to emphasize- I’m head over heels with this. It’s a quick and impactful read that has immense reread value. His descriptive imagery, amazing scene building, and his fascinating messages really leave you thinking. I came out from reading like leaving a theater after a great movie, still buzzing with awe. Audience: I feel like this is deeply valuable for trans and cis audiences alike because of how real it is. I felt so seen reading this from such detailed and impactful representations of being trans, I can even relate to not being able to come out to my grandfather before he died! Cis allies wanting to see a transmasculine experience or read trans poetry, here’s an amazing example. (Go check out his poetry on instagram too, trust me)

  17. 4 out of 5

    noah

    'bending our bodies into paridise & being beaten for it' one of the most beautiful poetry collections I have ever read. Every single sentence was superbly crafted, & it makes me want to write so much more poetry. melvin's work has resonated with something deep inside me, his poetry has reminded me that I am not the only one out there. it has saved my life, & has given me so much hope. I have taken so much from this book, & all of Melvin's work, & it reminds me to keep going, & to keep writing. th 'bending our bodies into paridise & being beaten for it' one of the most beautiful poetry collections I have ever read. Every single sentence was superbly crafted, & it makes me want to write so much more poetry. melvin's work has resonated with something deep inside me, his poetry has reminded me that I am not the only one out there. it has saved my life, & has given me so much hope. I have taken so much from this book, & all of Melvin's work, & it reminds me to keep going, & to keep writing. there is always hope.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  20. 5 out of 5

    Syd

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashwini

  22. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Camacho

  25. 4 out of 5

    Juno Jaymes

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Palm

  27. 4 out of 5

    Reeta

  28. 4 out of 5

    Isabel

  29. 4 out of 5

    Simon

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

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