Reduction Fired

concise, quiet, and intense poems voiced over vibrant scenes of nature - reflections to ripple through the mind

Poetry - General
92 Pages
Reviewed on 06/04/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jennifer Yeates Camara is a poet living in Vancouver, Canada. She is the youngest of 13 children, born to an extremely poor family in Ontario, Canada.

She grew up in an old house that someone had paid her father to haul away, albeit without plumbing as the water was never hooked up! Jennifer's early life in the 70's included an outhouse, a well, and a wood-burning fireplace.

Jennifer, together with her sister Regan (, are among several writers in the family.

Further, Jennifer's parents were both avid readers and often recited poems by memory. Jennifer's mother Barbara went through a productive period with poetry, macrame and pottery. She scrounged enough tuition for ceramic courses at the local College, which included faculty such as Robin Hopper, Roman Bartkiw and Ann Mortimer, all celebrated Canadian potters. The glazes especially intrigued her for their complexity and potential.

At age 9, Jennifer's family still at home moved to the BC coast. Jennifer was encouraged to join a late French immersion program starting from grade 6. It was around that time that Jennifer also started writing her own poetry.

Although Jennifer continued excelling academically, the family's economic situation was still dire, and she turned to poetry to express herself.

Once Jennifer started working, she eagerly frequented local bookstores, where the owners introduced her to poetry from many cultures, including Persia, China, Japan and India.

For more information about Jennifer, please visit

    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

If you agree that there is something amazing in conciseness when you read a work in prose, you may find that it is also true for poetry. This is what I experienced when I read Reduction Fired, a poetic collection by Jennifer Yeates Camara. Here, the reduction is not just a keyword when it comes to the title. Divided into Winter, Autumn, Summer, and Spring, Reduction Fired features a series of poems inspired by various literary sources, including Chinese, Japanese, and even Hebrew poetry. In her poems, Camara's purpose is to remove from the verses everything unnecessary to the message. I believe you will find a striking example of this in Reduction Fired.

Reduction Fired was an inspiring read. I have many poetic collections on my bookshelf, but none of them is similar to this one. I like how Camara has managed to create an enchanting picture in just a few lines or even a single line. This is even more astonishing considering that the lines often consist of three words or less. I particularly admired the images of the natural elements that Camara evokes and how she uses them for specific purposes. The delicacy of the images and the brevity of Camara's poetry will remain as vivid impressions in my memory. These aspects will continue to make me think about Reduction Fired as a standalone book in my collection. Overall, reading it was a memorable experience that I invite you all to try.

Jamie Michele

Reduction Fired by Jennifer Yeates Camara is a collection of the author's original poetry. The pieces are broken down by season and each falls into a category of summer, winter, spring, or autumn and is fuelled in intervals from one to the next as alliteration to the seasons of life. The poems are written primarily in free verse with a heavy emphasis on poetic dissonance that punches through the stanzas. They also vary in length with pieces such as the simply titled XXXIV, a poem written as a traditional three-line tercet, to others like the poem Medusa that retain the quality of compressed stanzas but the verses as a whole span multiple pages.

Poetry is often difficult to review because, unlike books, the artform is almost completely subjective. As a poetess, Jennifer Yeates Camara is a Jackson Pollock of her craft. Reduction Fired unapologetically pushes forward constructive chaos in a beautiful and deeply emotional written form of the abstract expressionist movement. My favorite is The Youngest, a piece that hints at the bitter-sweetness of guardianship and, in its final season, a reflection of the hope and duty entrusted to a soul—a parent—but also the pressure placed to groom the next generation. Lines such as “When I’ve set out ideals, by words imperfect and divine” highlight the fallibility of parenting and the hope that our children will stand on their own. This is a wonderful compilation that provokes a great deal of thought. Highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

So many things in life parallel art: music, the visual arts, dance and theatre, and, yes, poetry. The power of the written word, freely expressed, can expound so much about life, love, and the meager human existence. But, the written word can also lean heavily on the other arts to make its expressive tone vibrantly clear and allow the reader to reflect intensely on what is being shared.

Canadian poet Jennifer Yeates Camara is multi-talented in the arts and her poetry reflects the power behind the creative mind. In her collection of poems, Reduction Fired, the reader is immersed in metaphors of light and sound reflective of music, from the music of songbirds to the music of the rippling waters that surround her. She uses references to an ominous bird, the karasu, oft misnamed as a crow or a raven or even a blackbird, and another Japanese bird, the hototogisu, which might be like a cuckoo or a wood thrush with a strong, mournful cry, also often referred to as “the bird of disappointed love.” There are scholarly reflections, too: references to ancient civilizations, like the oldest community of Nineveh. There is even a poem that reflects on the painting “White Pine” by the famous Canadian artist, A.J. Casson: “Here, nothing is as it seems/ crisp, stark and sculptured/ leans a windblown tree/ …/ Reaching for the tree of life/ I search the naked structure/ nothing, it seems, is there.” (I think this was my favorite poem in the collection.)

Using free verse and haiku, Jennifer Yeates Camara clearly demonstrates the power of the written word and the reflective nature of interweaving creative thoughts like a fine tapestry on multiple levels. The poet mostly writes about nature, but there is considerable depth in her poems than mere excursions through the beautiful natural world around her home on the west coast of Canada. Her jottings are deeply immersed in her upbringing, her life, and her ability to see the world creatively and to appreciate it for all its beauty. She is an artist on many levels. Reduction Fired is a stunning, provocatively pensive collection of poems and photographs to enjoy many times over.

Jose Cornelio

Reduction Fired: Poems by Jennifer Yeates Camara is a collection of poems that celebrate the cycle of life. It is divided into four parts: Winter, Autumn, Summer, and Spring. The poems feature a wide range of themes, including nature, sound and silence, inner peace, growth, spirituality and contemplation, family and friendship, solitude, loneliness, and many more. The poems are short and each captures a moment that is well-defined, an emotion that is strongly felt, an idea forming in the poet’s mind in the hushed hours of the day, observations of life evolving around the personae, and much more.

Jennifer Yeates Camara has a unique poetic style, and the short sentences accentuate the fast rhythm of her poetic utterances. Reduction Fired: Poems features exquisite imagery, and the author’s evocative style combines with the deft use of metaphors to give depth and perspective to the poems, allowing the themes to be clearly communicated to the reader. An example of a metaphor that is brilliantly used is in “Flying,” a poem that describes a heart that is peaceful and lively, like the child running “arms full span / Wanting others to come to feel this, / They look up, sadly, mouthing ‘loner.’” The reader can’t help but notice the irony in the message, and it is in the denial from those the poor heart reaches out to, exuberantly, that the author communicates the loneliness. Reduction Fired: Poems is a gorgeous offering for fans of poetry, and the collection will entice readers and remind them of some of the emotions and experiences they have as humans. It is rich in the humanity it evokes, creative in the seasons it explores, and inspiring in the profusion of life it celebrates.

K.C. Finn

Reduction Fired is a collection of contemporary poetry penned by Jennifer Yeates Camara. The collection is a diverse set of poems spanning 25 years of the poet’s work, utilizing a variety of influences from across the globe to create an eclectic mix of meditations primarily formed in a focused and reduced format. Whilst the poems mainly focus on exploring the dynamics of different relationships, there are several that focus on events personal to the poet’s life such as her upbringing in poverty, the loss of a close friend to suicide, and her partner’s struggle with addiction.

It takes a lot of skill as a creative person to be able to turn the darker parts of your life and experience and create something beautiful with it. By focusing her form so that a few simple words bring a whole world to the imagination, Jennifer Yeates Camara sets herself apart as a contemporary poet. There is a curiosity and reflection about her work, a need inspired in the reader to take what has been written and expand upon it in their own mind and apply it to their own experiences. A great deal of growth and reflection is shown by the poems collected in Reduction Fired, with the poet using the exercise of reduction to consider her life and the events within it so that they can be conjured in a reader’s mind in the fewest words necessary. A collection of works from a poet of great skill and imagination, I recommend this collection to all.