Martyrs and Manifestations

Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings

Poetry - General
154 Pages
Reviewed on 01/28/2021
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Author Biography

Milan Sergent studied creative writing in college and began writing the Candlewicke 13 novel series in 2007, a year after featuring some of the series' characters in his solo art exhibition, Outsiders and Apparitions, near Rockefeller Center in New York City. Sergent's Candlewicke 13 and the Tombstone Forest won the Readers' Favorite Finalist Award in the Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi category as well as the Book Excellence Award Finalist - Fantasy.

An artist and poet since adolescence, a few of Sergent's early poetic works were published in Scarlet Literary Magazine and recently in his illustrated poetry book, Outsiders and Apparitions: Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics.

To learn more about the author or view the illustrated companion guide to the Candlewicke 13 series visit While there, join the mailing list for important news updates and notifications about future novel releases.

    Book Review

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.

Tiffany Ferrell

In Martyrs and Manifestations: Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings, we are introduced to an otherworldly and frenetic collection of poems written by Milan Sergent, the author of the Candlewicke 13 series. In this new collection of poems, the writer covers topics like death, dogma, judgment, and manipulation, to name a few. Milan Sergent adds unique surrealist paintings to go with each poem. They are unique and each tells a story that can stand alone, giving the reader a glimpse into the creative mind of the author. A few months ago I read Outsiders and Apparitions and I automatically loved it. It was my favorite book of poetry that I came across this year. It’s now a tie between that book of poems and this one.

Once again I enjoyed the ingenious poetry that Sergent brought to life in this new collection. The writing in Martyrs and Manifestations is fun and crazy, having a surreal feel to it. With witty and clever prose, each tells its own story. What I loved, even more, was the collection of paintings that accompanied each poem. They are beautifully done and really help as a visual aid to the poetry pieces. My favorite pieces in this collection are Dive Of The Dover Five, If You Cringe, You Might Bring On The End, Blessed Virgin Harry, and Something Ain’t Right About The Stroke Of Midnight, to name a few. Once again, each piece is different, yet has the same touch of morbidity that one finds intriguing. Sergent has created another wonderful collection of art and poetry that I think many will enjoy. I can’t wait to see what the author will come out with next.

Asher Syed

Martyrs and Manifestations: Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings by Milan Sergent is a compilation of the author's original work, and original it most certainly is. Sergent provides a total of over seventy written and illustrated pieces, each in free verse format with multiple styles of structure that vary in meter and rhyme schemes. While these share the common theme of all things uncommon, they read independently from one another, from Ms. Missy Pissy about a woman whose unconventional style is the talk of a small-minded town, to Rave on Mcduff and its ode to road rage, and Twisted Independence that devotes itself unapologetically to the crushing history of America's bloody past and the racism that still exists today.

Milan Sergent has become a favorite author of mine and, having read the Candlewicke 13 series, I was game for a book of poetry that I was certain wouldn't disappoint. Martyrs and Manifestations offers more than just an anthology of poems; the full-color illustrations are spectacular in their composition and vivid hues. Some have the feel of reimagined tarot cards while others channel the surrealism, modernism, and post-impressionism of Picasso. My favorite is Five Final Birds for both its artwork and poem as it delves into the destruction of earth's bounty by humanity with the most abhorrent perpetrators of its demise inflicted by those who use a religious facade to make it palatable to themselves. Overall, this is an excellent collection that no doubt others will also greatly enjoy.

Mamta Madhavan

Martyrs and Manifestations: Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings by Milan Sergent is an eclectic collection of poems that covers interesting subjects ranging from death, judgment, abandonment, tribalism, absurdism, and other interesting topics along with surreal art to go with it. The creative and aesthetic mind of the poet is on full display here and the usage of art along with the poems adds to the visual appeal of his words and the collection. The poems are unapologetically unconventional and they all tell individual stories to readers with an element of intrigue, morbidity, and distinctiveness that will leave them in awe of the poet's creative mind.

All the poems in the collection stand on their own. My favorites would be 'Hitting The Bottles', 'Stained-Glass Bubbles Make You More Beautiful', 'Ins And Outs', And 'Signs In The Heavens'. The collection is recommended for its uniqueness and freshness and also the author's mind thinking differently is quite impressive. Poetry lovers are in for a feast as they get to read some crazy, fun, and serious poetry. It will take readers into a different realm, dimension, and space they have not thought of going to before. I would say Martyrs and Manifestations is indeed a masterpiece and I would recommend it to all poetry lovers to read and appreciate the poet's aesthetic abilities, imagination, and creative mind. It is one of the best poetry collections I have come across in recent times and I look forward to reading more from this extremely talented writer, Milan Sergent.

Tammy Ruggles

Martyrs and Manifestations: Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings is a wide-ranging book of poetry and art by award-winning Candlewicke author Milan Sergent. This poet cleverly and beautifully weaves complex ideas and themes with rhymes that on the surface sound lyrical and simple. The bold, sometimes irreverent language can come off as cynical, but the honesty is appreciated. There seems to be a wry smile inside some of the lines, and some lovely observations and comparisons. These slice-of-life poems read like mini snapshots of people, places, things, and events--sometimes personal, sometimes universal. The interesting images add another layer of depth to the poems.

Sergent seems to be having fun with these unfiltered poems, reaching those who may live on the fringes of society, or those who may be easily overlooked or taken for granted. If you remember how you felt when you were young and wanted to break away from the expectations of adults, society, and revered institutions, chances are you will connect with these poems. They're for the brave and daring, and for those too timid to try or speak out. Even if you can't speak or live as brashly as the poems suggest, you can live them vicariously. That's the beauty of poetry, and the beauty of Sergent's work. The holiday poems have such vivid imagery that you can picture them as home movies.

His descriptions are at times beautiful, at times quirky, and a lot of times both. For example, the poem "Skinned but not Gutted" sounds gross, but it actually has funny lines, like "Bouffanted Barbara Ann was such a shallow barbarian...But only her big hair hid the apparitions That haunt her in the walls and the curtains..." These are poems that can read like a limerick, but be full of meaning--little nuggets to savor, like a proverb or a fortune cookie. If you're looking for poetry for the holidays that isn't run-of-the mill, and that is definitely stimulating and entertaining, try Martyrs and Manifestations: Hexed Poems and Art for Holiday Gatherings by Milan Sergent.