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Book Review: Baring My Soul



Baring My Soul


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Baring My Soul
by Stacey Tolbert



    Publication Date: Apr 01, 2002
    List Price: $12.00 (store prices may vary)
    Format: Paperback
    Classification: Fiction
    Page Count: 124
    ISBN13: 9780965742689
    Imprint: To Be Determined
    Publisher: To Be Determined
    Parent Company: To Be Determined


    Read To Be Determined’s description of Baring My Soul

    Book Reviewed by Rondall Brasher


    I have just finished a collection of poems called Baring My Soul by Stacey Renee Tolbert aka "The Brown Suga Poet". It was my first introduction to her work. I was amused that at the bottom of each page she printed the chemical composition for sugar (C12 H22 O11). Her poetry was even offered in small packets rather than chapters of verse. These small touches added to the reading experience but it was discovering her poetic ability the made Baring My Soul worthwhile.

    Baring My Soul was an intricate and sometimes sensual journey into Tolbert's life. Her writing is vibrant and lucid manner and the poems tend to flow with rhythms of Bebop jazz. Her word choices reflect someone who is widely read. She intertwines her "worducation" with street savvy vernacular and use of 'word art'. The resulting work is engaging and emotionally challenging.

    As a new reader of Tolbert's, I found myself sometimes bewildered by the direction -- or lack of thereof -- in some of her poems. She seemed to lose track of the subject and really seemed to go off on tangents. This did not happen often, and occurred mostly in her longer poems.

    Overall her poetry was striking and engaging. Tolbert is able to be sexual without being lewd. She allowed me to taste her sexual nature without bombarding me with overtures. Her balance entices readers rather than hitting them over the head with her orgasmic treks


    It is refreshing how Tolbert relishes her womanhood. She touches upon the sensitivity and strength of being a woman. She ties all of this together with her self-evaluation of what it means to be vulnerable as a human being. This vulnerability seemed to leave her open to both the joy and the pain of life. Ms. Tolbert's revelations resulted in poetry that stands strong line by line. Each line is the bar of melodic word play that promises to take you somewhere


    One poem that struck as a potential "thrill ride" was "I used to write nice poems".

    I used to write nice poems
    About hair follicles belikethem "rare mole
    -cules mixed and remixed on the dj's one and
    twos" the revolution not being televised, and
    checking for my lyrical third eye in the skies
    but
    I
    Can
    No
    Longer
    write nice poems
    I
    Won't
    so
    I don't...

    This poem reflects how Tolbert's work has changed, along with her sense of self. This poem, like so many of her others, takes you on a very nice trip.
    Like the Bebop jazz Tolbert's poetry is patterned after, we get lost, but we
    always come back to the intended destination.

    Stacey Renee Tolbert is a bright and enthusiastic artist. As she grows, her work will change. After reading Baring My Soul, I look forward to witnessing her continued evolution because she has a solid start.



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