Published Poetry Collection Produces Mixed Emotions for Local Author


February 9, 2022

Pretty Blue Eyes Press is pleased to announce the release of otherwise untold. The poetry collection is the work of Harlem High School sophomore Tova Anderson. Press Manager Matthew Hodgson expressed pride in his student's work and expects her books to arrive this week.

The books, which were expected in mid-January, took some time to reach their destination due to "omicron delays" and then a blizzard on the East Coast, according to the postal service.

About her poetry collection of roughly sixty-three pages, Anderson stated that her poems primarily focus on emotions and experiences that she has encountered or hopes to someday in the future. "Poetry allows me to put my emotions on the page and show vulnerability," she said. "I'm super nervous about the publication of my collection. I'm scared to open up that part of myself for the world, but I'm also really excited because I hope that other people read my poems and experience the same feelings I do. My poems might be an opportunity for others to empathize with the struggles I've endured."

Writing mostly in free verse, Anderson uses the poetic form to express spur of the moment thought that she quickly records as phone notes. Later, she returns to those notes for edits and extensions.

"When I first started writing poems, it was an outlet for my emotions, a safe place to vent that nobody else would see, and it made me feel good when I went back and read them. Mr. Hodgson helped me gain the confidence to show my poems to friends, and they enjoyed them like I did. I hope other people feel the same way."

One of the poems in the collection, "oceans" captures the grief of lost love experienced by a persona, describing the process as becoming "more tears than girl." It also reveals the complications involved in moving on to create alternate memories while being inundated by reminders of past love.

About Anderson's book, Hodgson said, "I am extremely proud of Tova for her hard work, and everyone is thrilled with the final product. The collection is small, elegant, and perceptive. It speaks to a certain state of mind that is at once oddly specific and completely vague. In this way, otherwise untold relates to many different people in regards to heartbreak, recovery, and coming-of-age."

When asked what is next for PBE Press, Hodgson replied: "otherwise untold is the first project of 2022, and it sets the pace for publications this year. It will be followed by another two collections very soon, including Nellie King's self divine and Caly Adams' authority to feel. I expect the completion of these projects in the next few months."

The press is also having a website developed for the sale of published books and other information. Hodgson is working with Downs Digital Media on this project and expects to have a fully functional website before the summertime.


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