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Reviewed by Tania Staley for Readers' Favorite
Little Time Capsule: An Anthology of Unearthed Poetry is an engaging, approachable, and emotionally jarring book of poetry from the debut poet Devonte Gardner. Gardner’s poetry celebrates the journey of overcoming the obstacles imposed by oneself and society in order to be who you are meant to be. Inspired by excerpts from his journals from high school and early adulthood, the poet explores his struggles with sexual identity and unrequited and unspoken love. His collection is for anyone who has felt the need to hide who they truly are, or who has felt the sting of a desired lover’s gaze. His poems are passionate and honest, and a must-read for poetry readers.
Very rarely do I find a collection of poetry from a debut author that grabs my attention from the start and holds it throughout its entirety, but Devonte Gardner’s book did this very thing. I found myself wanting to turn page after page, and I read this book in one sitting, only to go back and reread my favorite poems for better clarity and absorption after my initial reading. Gardner’s collection is moving and heartfelt, without getting caught in the monotonous trap of emotional outpouring of angst that so many new poets succumb to. It is apparent that each poem in this collection was carefully thought out as it was constructed, and then submitted to the editing process to refine it even further. They have intriguing forms and twists that make every poem stand out, even though the themes of unrequited love and hiding one’s true self are constantly reoccurring.
While Gardner could push his poetry even further by playing with form and subject in order to achieve the unexpected, I think that his collection is an excellent start for an aspiring poet and something that fans and scholars of poetry would appreciate. I look forward to reading much more from Devonte Gardner.