Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Poetry – Colleen M. Chesebro, Annette Rochelle Aben, Balroop Singh, Elizabeth Gauffreau and Robbie Cheadle.

Welcome to the first of the Christams Book Fairs and today poetry collections that I have also read and can recommend which would make the perfect gift.

The first collection is by Colleen M. Chesebro –  Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

About the guide and collection

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection

Nov 02, 2021 Harmony Kent rated it five Stars

This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn how to write syllabic poetry such as Haiku, Senryu, Etheree, and many more. Section one covers Japanese syllabic poetry, and section two shows us American forms.

The author includes photos in the book to illustrate sources of inspiration for some of the poetry examples. In the paperback version, these pictures are black and white, but Ms Cheeseboro also lists aspects of the images, which mention the colours that were prominent in the original.

Each chapter introduces the reader to a certain poetic form and gives us the history as well as essential points to remember and excellent examples. The tone throughout is encouraging and easy to understand.

Along with this guide, aspiring poets will benefit from Colleen Cheeseboro’s weekly poetry challenges, which you will find on her blog (

This is a reference I shall return to again and again, and it gets a solid five stars from me. 

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro

Now Halloween poetry collection by Annette Rochelle Aben – Son of Booku: More Halloween Haiku

About the collection

The stage is set and the actors are fully rehearsed and prepared to have the night of their lives. Of course, it IS only ONE NIGHT but that night is Halloween. Come, and eavesdrop on the cast of fright night in the bright light of day as they speak in “haikulike verse”. While most subjects say cheese when facing a camera, these rascals say, BOO! BOOKU that is!

One of the recent reviews for the collection.

JanS 5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Halloween Accompaniment! Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2021

I love that this little book of Haiku is based on this author’s family and love for all things Halloween! The photos are outstanding. The extent this family goes to with decorations is over the top! But add the brilliant Haiku with the photos and you have an excellent spooky book to share and celebrate at Halloween! I highly recommend this very quick read. It will get you in the trick-or-treating spirit immediately!

A selection of other books by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads – Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress – Twitter:@YouAreTheExpert

The next collection is by Balroop Singh… …Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

About the collection

When I stumbled upon haiku – a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules though.

The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired from them.This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired from haiku, senryu, tanka and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Sep 10, 2021 Trish Butler rated it five stars

My favourite Balroop Singh collection so far!

I’ve read and enjoyed several of Singh’s volumes, but this one is my favourite. She has taken on the discipline of haiku and tanka and excelled.

Grouping these short poems into subjects was a great inspiration too and I particularly loved the images with some of them as I am a very visual person.

Singh’s poetry is calming and beautiful and this book is no exception. Take your time and experience the calm her words can have over you.

I’d love to hear them read aloud.

Other books by Balroop Singh


Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Balroop : Goodreads – blog:Balroop Singh on WordPress – Twitter: @BalroopShado

The next collection is by Elizabeth Gauffreau and I am sharing my recent review Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance

About the collection

“Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.” ~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is a passionate ode to loved ones lost and an intimate portrayal of one family’s shared grief. It holds the key to solace in home photographs and illustrates just how special our singular moments can be. ~Toni Woodruff, Independent Book Review

“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.” ~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review

My review for the collection 13th November 2021.

As we get older we lose more of those we love, and grief is one of the hardest of life’s experiences to comes to term with. Brief eulogies that express love and respect for a person are often more meaningful than longer testaments to their life.

This is the case in Elizabeth Gauffreau’s collection of syllabic poetry. Brief glimpses into the lives of her parents as they met and married, followed by early childhood memories and the teen years.

The wonderful early family images set the scene and the words bring them to life. They are emotionally engaging and evoke the reader’s own memories and also regrets for lost opportunities to share more moments with those no longer with us. For example:

27 Edgewood Road

clearing out the house
entering forbidden rooms
hidden photographs
baby picture never seen
her pride in me now showing.

Also by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Elizabeth: Goodreads – Website/Blog: Liz Gauffreau – Twitter: @LGauffreau

The final poetry collection today is Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle.

About the collection

What goes on behind closed doors: in the boardroom, after death, in the home, during lockdown, and in nature? This collection of poems, ranging from rhyming verse to twisted nursery rhymes, captures the emotions and thoughts people hide behind the masks they present to the world.

What thoughts are hidden
Behind her immobile face
Quite expressionless
Eyes cold and indifferent
Scrutinising me – hawk like

This book includes some of Robbie Cheadle’s spectacular fondant art and cakes.

A recent review for the collection

Perspectivepower, Annette Rochelle Aben 5.0 out of 5 stars Invitation to Knock  Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2021

While Robbie Cheadle has written many other books in several genres, this book is an invitation to knock on the doors to her intense thoughts and feelings. Robbie takes this opportunity to share her views, hopes, and dreams with words that run the gamut from entertaining to profound. As Robbie lays bare her own soul, it’s as though she challenges you to look into your own. Because she is a woman who cares as much for the world of her family as she does for the world at large. you come away from this book knowing you’d be welcome to knock on her doors anytime.  

A selection of books for adults and children by Roberta Eaton Cheadle.


Read the reviews and Buy the books :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Follow Robbie : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some poetry collections to gift family and friends. More poetry later in the Christmas Book Fair.. thanks Sally.


52 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – #Poetry – Colleen M. Chesebro, Annette Rochelle Aben, Balroop Singh, Elizabeth Gauffreau and Robbie Cheadle.

  1. Sally, I am immeasurably flattered to have my little book included with such talented and brilliant poets. Thank you! I have read both LIz and Annette’s amazing works and have Colleen’s and Balroop’s coming up in December with some other poetry reads including Siegfried Sassoon’s war poetry which I picked up after reading your post about him.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I used to read a lot of poetry but that fell by the wayside as my life became busy with work and family. Since the Covid pandemic struck, I’ve found myself turning to poetry again and I’m sure others must feel the same. As you say, there’s something for everyone here and they’d make beautiful Christmas gifts. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow! Thank you Sally for including my poetry in your recommendations for Christmas gifts. I am delighted in the company of so many awesome poets. Congratulations to poet buddies. ❤️🤗


  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 21st – 27th November 2021 – Thanksgiving, Relationship WrapUp, Toto, Christmas Book Fair, Book Reviews, Memories and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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