Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bill Monroe Releases First Poetry Collection: Slow Turning

A review of William D. Monroe, Jr. Slow Turning:  A Collection of Songs and Poetry for Adults who were Sexually Abused as Children (Volume I) (Create Space, 2010); 95 pp $14.95; ISBN-10: 1453774831 ISBN-13: 978-1453774830

Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz

Bill Monroe of Newnan is a businessman, an aspiring martial arts instructor, and a poet. Late last year he published the first collection of his poems, which were individually written on various dates spanning from May 9, 1991 through July 24, 2010. They are arranged in the chronological order in which they were written. Following each poem is its date of composition and a few brief remarks on its meaning by the author. These remarks are helpful. In fact, I wish more poets would do this. With so many poems the reader can only guess at what they mean.

These poems deal with the author's struggle to overcome the effects upon him of the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. This liberation occurred not all at once, but slowly, i.e. it was accomplished by the author's slow turning from darkness to light -- thus the title chosen for the collection. He plans to release later this year a second collection of poems titled Left-Handed Poetry.

Monroe is the second Southside author to have a book published dealing with childhood sexual abuse. The first one, Through The Eyes of Abuse, was published in 2009 by Clayton County author Deborah Hall-Branch. Both books are written with realism, maturity, and hope, which is a challenge when dealing with such a horrific topic. As such they are a testament to the vitality of the Southside literary scene.
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