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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Martyrs and Manifestations: Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings is a collected work of imaginative poetry and emotive wordplay, penned and illustrated by author Milan Sergent. As the title suggests, this quirky and highly enjoyable work showcases the poetic talents of the author, whose other excellent works include the darkly imaginative Candlewicke 13 series of books. In this collection of more than seventy poetic expressions, Sergent turns his attention to a more serious topic to celebrate those who might feel marginalized or oppressed by mainstream society, tackling complex emotional themes such as death, tribalism, abandonment, and manipulation.
As a fan of Milan Sergent in general, I anticipated getting into another excellent collection of verses and art, and I was once again thoroughly impressed with the presentation, production quality, and deep consideration that has gone into the making of this collection. There is a really quirky mix of traditionalism and celebration of the poetic form which Sergent cleverly subverts and twists into new rule-breaking permutations to delight and surprise his readers. Pro-Puppet-Ganda and Die Agnosis spring to mind for their memorable scansion and imagery and readers who adore the surreal and dark will be sure to find phrases stuck in their heads long after they have closed the tome. More than this, the underlying themes, empathy, and emotional quality of the work are second to none, clearly coming from a real place within the author which we marginalized folk can all relate to. Overall, I would highly recommend Martyrs and Manifestations: Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings to poetry fans, surrealists, and the oppressed seeking freedom the world over.