Love and Other Small Wars
Poetry by Donna-Marie Riley
Love and Other Small Wars reminds us that when you come back from combat usually the most fatal of wounds are not visible. Riley’s debut collection is an arsenal of deeply personal poems that embody an intensity that is truly impressive yet their hands are tender. She enlists you. She gives you camouflage & a pair of boots so you can stay the course through the minefield of her heart. You will track the lovely flow of her soft yet fierce voice through a jungle of powerful imagery on womanhood, relationships, family, grief, sexuality & love, amidst other matters. Battles with the heart aren’t easily won but Riley hits every mark. You’ll be relieved that you’re on the same side. Much like war, you’ll come back from this book changed.
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Riley’s work is wise, intense, affecting, and uniquely crafted. This collection illuminates her ability to write with both a gentle hand and a bold spirit. She inspires her readers and creates an indelible need inside of them to consume more of her exceptional poetry. I could read Love and Other Small Wars all day long…and I did.
editor of Up the Staircase Quarterly
I began to feel unwelcome in your hands is one of several lines from Donna-Marie Riley’s first collection of poetry, Love and Other Small Wars, that reopened wounds Time should have mended long ago. I was 22 all over again, sad and disillusioned as I rounded a corner out of what I had hoped to be a lifelong relationship. How We Got Here helped me understand my surroundings while How to Be Alone: A Twelve Step Program encouraged me to heal, every line a strip of dressing tape carefully wrapped around my heart. When I was ready, I took inventory in My and found the courage to love again in Bed. Such was my experience, one I honestly did not expect. Riley’s poems are personal, lyrical and so vibrant they practically leap off the page, which also makes them terrifying at times. A beautiful debut.
Donna-Marie Riley is, first and foremost, a poet, albeit one with a shaking voice. At seven years old her second grade teacher personally bought her a journal and instructed her to “write everything.” So she did.
The first poem she wrote without the help of her mother was entitled Leprechauns and was, quite frankly, rather terrible. Since then, however, she’s worked hard at the craft, dedicating more time to it than anything (and anyone) else. She can’t say herself whether it’s paid off, but she’s amassed a humble following within the online Tumblr community, which helps to keep her at it even on the bad days.
Love and Other Small Wars is her first collection of poetry. She hopes you’ll handle it gently.
Words Dance Book Box #4 – PDF
Words Dance Book Box #4 Quote Cards – PDF
(Roughly 3″ tall x 2″ wide x 1″ deep)