Poetry - Love/Romance
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 04/03/2024
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Author Biography

Angel I. Hawkins is an educator, author, writer, and now, poet. She has taught English to middle and high schoolers and hopes to instill an appreciation for literature among her students, as she has found great solace in reading and writing from an early age. She has two children, whom she adores, named Madison and Henry, and an absolutely stellar husband. She currently resides in New Jersey with her beloved family but simultaneously considers New York City and sunny Southern California home. velvet is her first collection of poetry.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

Love is the central theme of Angel I. Hawkins' first poetry collection, Velvet. This book is divided into three sections with free verse poems in which the author reveals her innermost thoughts and feelings. The poems draw inspiration from objects (a telephone, fabric, lipstick), places (a museum, ballroom, bookshop), natural elements (water, fire), and many other small and big things that are familiar to us. Each poem is remarkable for the vivid images that reveal the intensity of the author's feelings; they also take readers on a passionate journey to understand the human heart.

I have read many poetry collections inspired by love — is not this the strongest feeling we can feel? Few times, however, have I been as enchanted as in the case of Velvet. I cannot believe this is Angel I. Hawkins' first collection because her skill and talent made me think of a seasoned poet. Her poems are clear, and readers immediately understand her mood. They will be emotionally involved by the images Hawkins chooses to convey the intensity of her love because she is honest and straightforward. Whether you are experiencing emotions as strong as these or not, you will nonetheless have the impression that you are in love, too. The author opens her heart in Velvet, but she also helps us fully understand our own. This poetry collection is fascinating, and I heartily recommend it to all poetry aficionados, particularly those who have found love in their lives; they will value it even more.

Pikasho Deka

Treat yourself to an enthralling collection of romance poems with Angel I. Hawkins' Velvet. Divided into three parts -- meet-cute, steady, and forever -- these poems highlight the different phases of a relationship between two lovers. The book opens with a beautiful poem titled "Hello," which encapsulates how a person feels when they meet someone who makes their heart race. Rediscover the moment someone took your breath away with "Butterflies." In "Boyfriend Shirt," the narrator indulges in fond memories of their lover and longs for their presence. The narrator reveals their innermost thoughts in the confines of "Pillow Talk." "Happy" captures the blissful moments of life when two lovers unite. "Hereafter" showcases how the paths of two soulmates intertwine to endure the trials and tribulations of life and last through the ages.

Angel I. Hawkins gifts readers with a collection of captivating free-verse poems that romance and poetry lovers are bound to revisit occasionally. The poems in Velvet cover different facets of a romantic relationship -- from the early stages, when sparks fly and passions ignite to a more mature phase, when love for someone overcomes the boundaries of space and time. There is a quality to Hawkins' poetic storytelling that readers can relate to their own experiences with love. Hawkins also finds creative ways to capture specific moments in time and moods with poems such as "Fire," "Camera," "Beige," and many more. Overall, I found this collection to be a very inspiring piece of work. If you're a poetry lover, I highly recommend you grab a copy!

Asher Syed

Velvet by Angel I. Hawkins is an original poetry collection that explores a variety of emotional themes through free verse poems. These range from Campfire and its use of imagery in verse to depict the need for openness and vulnerability to overcome fear, to Marathon, which portrays love as a relentless pursuit, leaning into passion and resilience. Boyfriend Shirt reflects on longing and nostalgia through the wearing of their shirt, evoking intimacy and yearning, while Camera harnesses the intimacy of capturing moments together, highlighting the desire to preserve memories and the vulnerability of being photographed. Chai celebrates the comfort of enjoying a cup of spiced tea, evoking warmth and shared experiences, and Ever celebrates the depth and permanence of true love that transcends time.

Angel I. Hawkins' poetry collection Velvet is beautifully composed, balancing its weightier moments with what I felt was an overarching undertone of emotional innocence and a purity of feeling throughout. The standout for me, as well as my personal favorite, is Drive, which perfectly elevates the essence of freedom and adventure, and the exhilaration of a road trip with a loved one. I love how it relishes true spontaneity and shared experiences, inviting us to revel in the joy of exploration. Hawkins' work is comfortable enough for it to be uniquely accessible to poetry enthusiasts of all levels. Its universal themes and relatable manner of conveying them may even serve as a contemporary gateway for those new to the art form, and I think it would be a delightful addition to any poetry lover's collection.