The latest release by Nikita Gill has been getting rave reviews, a collection focusing on passion, identity, the universe and femininity. I was thankful to receive a copy of Wild Embers for review by Netgalley. This is my first encounter with Gill’s work.
This is a collection of both poetry and prose, which I haven’t come across before. I’m used to collections being one or the other, therefore felt the flow was slightly interrupted and at times hard to get into. That said, Gill clearly has a talent for both. In fact, I would gladly read a collection of short prose, something that I don’t believe Gill has released before.
There is, however, a strong female message behind the majority of her work. Poems such as ‘Witches’ and ‘Dragons Breath’ uses fantasy elements to reiterate the strength of women and their capabilities of being powerful in their own right, challenging how women are seen in traditional fairy tales.
Dismissing traditional ideas of femininity takes centre stage the prose pieces, as Disney Princesses get rewritten into feminist heroes with their own thoughts and agendas, not waiting for a prince to save them. We’re also introduced to Greek Goddesses, wise and intelligent. In this instance it reminded me of Carol Ann Duffy’s, The Worlds Wife, a wonderful collection. I would love to see what else Gill could do with these characters in further collections of prose or poetry.
I gave Gill’s collection 3 stars. I enjoyed experiencing a new poet and felt that there was huge potential in what Gill was writing about. That said, I struggled with the layout and, at times, felt that there could have been more of a structure to the way that the collection was presented. I did have times where I wasn’t as enthusiastic as I wanted to be. Despite this I’d really like to try out some more of Gill’s work to experience her work.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this opportunity.