Jennifer Yeates Camara
Yeates Expressions (2021)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (07/21)
I want to begin by saying that this has been a very cool period in time when it comes to poetry. On a normal basis, that is a niche quite difficult to fill by authors because it takes 100% emotion to write amazing poetry 100% of the time. Yet, this past week, I was granted the gift of two books of poetry where the authors soared. And that is not an overstatement whatsoever.
This time, “Reduction Fired” with Jennifer Yeates Camara at the wheel of the ship, I sat down and read some of the most intense poems I can remember. They literally brought me physically into the natural world and allowed me the ability to experience everything from the silence, beauty, majesty and sometimes foreboding “scenes” that Mother Nature can bring down all around us; to the deepest words of love, kindness, and caring I can think of. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve read such beautiful verses since Walt Whitman and Robert Frost relayed their absolute talents to the world by placing pen to paper.
The author even begins with a type of education for the reader. She talks about “reduction” and how that word refers to “the pottery method of firing a piece in low oxygen conditions—typically by slowly reducing the oxygen that feeds the kiln’s fire.” She talks about the amazing colors seen with each unique glaze that results from this process. Offering even more information, we learn that “reduction” can even change the texture of the clay. This fits in perfectly with the poetry that follows, because her verse—like the clay in a potter’s world—can twist, turn, surprise, and produce colors that will bring to life in your mind the “ocean of blue-white snow” falling when she leads us along a wintertime trail. We can also see the burst of colors, each different in their own right, when it comes to Autumn, and the loveliness of a Spring day. Even Summer is represented in style, right down to that “milk-swelled cactus in mid-desert” that holds the aloe you need to cover and heal all wounds.
Each poem is a delight, and the glorious, vivid pictures she places at the beginning of each chapter bring a smile to the face and a longing for your favorite season to return as fast as possible so you can once again enjoy it. By interweaving Mother Nature’s talents with her own skill, this author makes relationships, love, and the meaning of life come alive. I, for one, am not only happy I read “Reduction Fired” by Jennifer Yeates Camara, but I also feel a bit honored that I can now include myself in the readers out there who made this book earn (rightfully so) a silver “Readers’ Favorite” award!