Reader over my Shoulder

December 5, 2019

Epiphany by Rachael Ikins in

December 3, 2019

Mother Earth

November 23, 2019

November 20, 2019

Friday art cat

November 9, 2019

Planet in Peril

September 14, 2019

The anthology has arrived!! With “Mother Earth” and my photo “Fishing” proceeds to WWF and Climate Coalition. From Fly on the Wall Poetry UK

Woot 🎉🎉

Review of Just Two Girls

September 9, 2019

By Canadian poet Elaine Woo. I was so glad a colleague who is a stranger saw things I intended but had no way to say so beyond a gut urge. I am happy to see the word “nonbinary” applied to this collection for it is so.


September 5, 2019

Delectable Review of Eating the Sun

August 30, 2019

Rachael Ikins, Central New York Branch, NY

Eating the Sun: a delicious love story

Reviewed by Treanor Baring, Bayou City ii branch, TX

ISBN 9781947653580

Clare Songbirds Publishing House Eating the Sun © 2019 Rachael Ikins

To order a copy of this book, or others by Rachael with Clare Songbirds Publishing:

Imagine an independent bookshop on leafy Anytown square, sun dappled sidewalk, geraniums in full bloom, the large bay front window filled with whimsical children’s books and must-read political thrillers.

A postman arrives with a weighty brown carton. The shop clerk slits the lid, anticipating the pleasure of unpacking the newest shipment from her favorite independent publishing house. The kind of publishing house that scoops up the best emerging authors. She pulls out multiple copies of thrillers, biographies and the latest diet cookbooks. These are quickly distributed throughout the bookstore onto their respective genre shelves.

Then, the last book in the box: Rachael Ikins’s Eating the Sun. Mmmm. Not so easy to place. Memoir? Poetry? Cookbook? The clerk runs her hand over the front jacket. Lovely. Opens the book and begins to read. Smiles. Nods. Wipes away a tear. Holds the book to her chest and looks up to heaven. Thank you, she mouths. Rearranges the front window and places Ikins’s book front and center with a hand-cut arrow pointing to it that reads “straight from the heart.”

While Ms. Ikins latest book is indeed genre-defying, that is not to say it isn’t unified in its vision. It is a love story, not plain or simple, but transformational. From the first line, “Think back to the first time you met the love of your life,” to the recipes and poems, and eventually to the very last line, “Do you?” Ikins connects to her subjects and to the reader through every day actions. She gets real, and quick. “No writing about my husband would be complete without a section on mushrooms,” she states at the opening of the Autumn section, and from what we’ve already read, this makes sense. As do later developments, even though we may not want to see them coming. She never shies away from the vulnerability of the age difference between her and her husband, her own struggles as a poet, and his failing health. I won’t rely on the cliché that the finale is a triumph; I don’t feel this book is meant to be a grandiose chronicle of challenges overcome. Its driving motivation seems more elemental, and much more dangerous: to find what is true and let it be known. Ikins finds a truth worth the telling and the hearing, inspiring us all to value the real in our lives as well.

Girl Interrupted

August 27, 2019