Publication Date: 25 August 2020
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
From a poet and celebrated spoken-word performer comes a debut poetry collection that takes readers on an empowering, lyrical journey exploring truth, silence, wounds, healing, and the resilience we all share.
Dear Girl is a journey from girlhood to womanhood through poetry
It is the search for truth in silence
The freeing of the tongue
It is deep wounds and deep healing
And the resilience that lies within us
It is a love letter
To the sisterhood
I’m a big fan of Andrews McMeel Publishing (they’re on my own “dream press” wish list!) and was absolutely delighted to receive a review of this poetry collection through NetGalley. I wasn’t familiar with Aija Mayrock before this book but, within a few stanzas, could tell that she must be a spoken word performer–a quick glance at her bio proved me right. The rhythm inherent in so many of these poems makes this verbal background undeniable.
This poetry collection reads like a call to action, an encouraging tale, and a journal entry all in one. Here’s an excerpt that stood out as a particular favourite:
there is a fire raging inside of you;
do not allow anyone to try to extinguish it:
it is mighty
it is brave
it is you.
And so on those nights
when you think you are broken,
remember the flame
and feel it burn.
This is the sort of collection that I wish I’d read fifteen years ago. The affirmation-style of these lines could all too easily come off as performative or even patronizing but Mayrock ensures that doesn’t happen. Instead, her genuine imploration comes through; these sentiments are absolutely heartfelt and, I imagine, as much a call to the speaker’s younger self as they are a message for the reader.
Still, this collection hit home for me, even as a full-blown adult. I’d suggest that Dear Girl could be addressed to just about any reader, though especially apt for the girl in question.
It’s also worth noting that Mayrock has previous publishing experience despite Dear Girl being her debut collection. After dealing with bullying herself, she created The Survival Guide to Bullying, “where she shares the strategies that helped her survive and thrive.” While I haven’t read this one myself, I’m confident that it would be an incredible resource. I’d gladly pick up copies of both books for any teen girl in my life!
About the Author
Aija Mayrock is a 19-year-old girl who experienced bullying firsthand. Instead of letting her experiences break her down, she channeled her positive energy into writing and self-publishing The Survival Guide to Bullying, where she shares the strategies that helped her survive and thrive. Aija writes about how to handle bullying, cyber bullying, dealing with fear, personal safety, and ultimately creating the life that you dream of having. Aija is also an accomplished screenwriter. Her film Diego received a Silver Key from Scholastic’s Art and Writing Awards.