Outsiders and Apparitions

Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics

Poetry - General
158 Pages
Reviewed on 11/01/2020
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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.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite

In Outsiders and Apparitions: Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics, we are introduced to an otherworldly and frenetic collection of poems written by Milan Sergent, the author of the Candlewicke 13 series. In this book, the author covers subjects like death, marginalization, and absurdity with 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.

This is the best book of poetry that I have read this year. I absolutely enjoyed the ingenious poetry that Sergent brought to life in this collection. The poems are fun and crazy, having a surreal feel to them. 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 gorgeous and really help as a visual aid to the poetry pieces. My favorites would have to be Magic Apples Grown By The Wrong Author Must Be Ignored, Questionable Extraterrestrials, Patty’s Wagon, and Ode To Genola. Each piece is different, yet has the same touch of morbidity that one finds intriguing. When you pair the poems with the art pieces, it’s a complete story brought to life which grabs readers' attention. Overall, I think Milan Sergent has created a masterpiece with Outsiders and Apparitions: Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics. It’s definitely a collection I would recommend. I can’t wait to read more of his work.

K.C. Finn

Outsiders and Apparitions: Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics is a collected work of poetry and artworks covering many different themes, and was penned and illustrated by author and artist Milan Sergent. Sergent brings a unique brand of surrealism to an emotionally resonant space in this collection, which explores personal and wider themes that play with structure and form in poetry, but also express a breakout from the conventions of language, art, and society. From abandonment to freedom, judgment to marginalization, individuality to conformism and beyond, this varied collection of eclectic works makes for some really fascinating and moving reading from cover to cover.

Having been an ardent fan of Milan Sergent’s fiction work for quite some time now, it was a delight to explore another facet of the author’s mind and see his artistic process come to light in new forms. The artwork is an obvious standout from the moment that you open the book, offering macabre and surreal takes on seemingly nostalgic childhood images that show deeper meaning when looked at again and again. The images accompany the verses perfectly, and as a poet myself, I found much to revel in Sergent’s attention to rhyme, rhythm, and imagery when the works are read aloud. ‘Shifty Gifting’ was certainly a personal favorite, encompassing all of these qualities but also resonating deeply with experiences that readers can relate to. Overall, I would highly recommend this quirky and unique collection: Outsiders and Apparitions is a book that no poetry fan should be without.

Mamta Madhavan

Outsiders and Apparitions: Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics by Milan Sergent is a fabulous combination of art and poems that are unique, fresh, and unconventional and take readers to another realm altogether. The author tackles surrealism, abandonment, conformism, hypocrisy, and manipulation through his writings along with other themes. The poems and art point toward the mind of a person who does not like sticking to conventional methods of expression and breaks the monotony of the usual with his novel approach of thinking and putting down his thoughts. The collection is eclectic, unapologetic, and fantastical, and is a good way to make readers break free from their traditional ways of expressing themselves and to try out something different.

The poems will make readers think and the artwork adds to the color and charm of the collection, and just like the words, the artwork is colorful and surreal. I like the thought of having a poetry collection with artwork because colors and pictures can break the monotony of words, and give readers another perspective on the poems by looking at the pictures. Milan Sergent speaks about the possession of the soul in a manner to break free from routine and express oneself through words and artwork. All the poems reveal the dark side of humanity and make a good read for poetry lovers who like to know about the darker side of life that exists. Outsiders and Apparitions: Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics breaks free from all boundaries, conventions, and routines, and will take readers on a distinctive journey.

Lesley Jones

This superb collection of poetry and art, Outsiders and Apparitions by Milan Sergent, cleverly confronts societal opinions on outward success, happiness, and inner fulfillment. The herd mentality is analyzed and examined for the negative results it breeds in humanity. Each poem powerfully reminds us that we are unique beings with thoughts, views, and feelings that have to be expressed if we are to live our lives authentically and fully. From an early age, we are programmed to believe and behave in a way that fits certain criteria, and to push against those boundaries is deemed unacceptable. To do so will result in certain derogatory labels being placed upon your shoulders. Milan Sergent urges the celebration of individualism, to remove the shackles that bind you, and for all wallflowers to leave the comfort of that wall and shine. Each poem is illustrated with the most extraordinary and exceptional artwork.

I was absolutely captivated by this collection. Milan is such an inspirational artist and writer. His talent for provoking thought and change in human behavior is superb. Some of the poems take a really humourous jibe at society's belief that we should all have the same mindset when it comes to being successful, attractive, and popular. The warped views of the clones in society are dissected and mocked for their absurdity. If you have ever felt like the outsider looking in because you are deemed 'different,' then this book is a definite must-read for you. I had so many favorite poems in this collection but the two poems that really impacted me were CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN - THE UNYOKING OF THE GOLDEN EGG and THE LIMBO TANGO - OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE FLAPPER FLOPPER. The following line was especially moving: 'Inside you know there’s a diamond glow, But the world will never know, Only you.' Outsiders and Apparitions by Milan Sergent is an inspirational collection that should be read by every self-critical person who is hiding their talents for fear of being wrongly and cruelly judged.

Erin Nicole Cochran

Milan Sergent’s Outsiders and Apparitions is a collection of poetry and artwork that has a way of digging into almost all of your senses. His poetry has a lyrical, children’s nursery rhyme sort of bent, but with an adult flavor and tone. An antiquated essence also paints every page, so that there is a feeling of transportation that takes us centuries back into the past. A few of my favorite poems in his collection are: Death Among the Living, She’s Invisible Now, Time Has a Funny Way, and Communal “You Knows” where the following lines are taken from page 91: “But the end is like the beginning, / An ism of dominion now supported by whispers.” This excerpt, as many of his poems, gave me a shudder.

Outsiders and Apparitions by Milan Sergent also showcases his artistic passion as well. His artwork crowned each poem before it began and hinted at what the poem conveyed within it. The piece that stole my eyes the most was on page 96. Its colors worked expertly together to create this eerie dichotomy of love and anxiety and looks as though it might very well hang on the walls in the next mansion that follows after Bly Manor. Sergent’s Outsiders and Apparitions is perfect for those who have seen the darker underbelly that is the world and the people in it. The macabre images and words wrap around the reader, like a warm fire on a cold night, waiting for a bit of a scare.