Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham

Welcome to the start of week of author promotions and looking forward to placing the Poetry books of  Canadian writer Christy Birmingham on the shelves.  Starting with Versions of the Self

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

We find ourselves   By sir henry on November 21, 2016

It would be a mistake for one to approach Christy Birmingham’s “Versions of the Self” as a mere collection of poems. It is beyond that. What shines throughout is what the title implies–a very personally recorded journal through heartache and joy, of struggle and redemption. Birmingham’s courage coats every page without the academic feel of stuffy poetic hallways and cobwebbed meter. Rather, in “Versions” we get what we expect–honesty.

As I read through Birmingham’s landscape of shared peaks and valleys, I found at times a rich blend of “Notes from the Underground” with the poetic bend of “The Bell Jar”, filled with the same kind of mystery.Still, Birmingham’s Psychology degree can be found punctuating itself inside a metaphoric Helping Hand. No serious reader of this collection can escape the nuances of survival, healing, and encouragement, as found in Flight Path, telling herself, and us, to…”Get ready to be extraordinary.” And even in Behind Puddles I found rich lines that carried Biblical undertones–“A dark sky that lifts its skirt to / Release the watershed, and I wonder / What you see under her skirt that / You do not see under my hem.”–smacking of King David and even Samson.Birmingham’s quiet and plain-spoken rebuttal to heartache seems almost clothed in sweetness when she writes–“Today, although I sit in the corner alone / I am warmer than I ever was with you.”

Here, in “Versions of the Self” we not only find Christy Birmingham, but we find ourselves. And wise is the reader who looks deeply into this well so unselfishly offered up.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

One of the reviews from Goodreads

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productions (less)

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Connect to Christy


Thanks for dropping in and it would be great if you could spread the word about Christy’s poetry collections. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 8th March 2017 – Olga Nunez Miret, Geoff Le Pard, D.G. Kaye, Christy Birmingham and Norah Colvin

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to today’s selection of five blog posts that I have enjoyed today out of many more. Please do not forget to leave the link to your most recent post in the comments section so that I can share.

Time for some romance and this is provided by Olga Nunez Miret who is sharing Marie Lavender’s book Upon Your Love (Series Heiresses in Love, Book Three).

Those of you who’ve followed my book for a while will remember Marie Lavender, author extraordinaire who’s written and published many books, and who also is a strong supporter of other writers. She got in touch with me and I knew you’d be interested in her new book, part of the series Heiresses in Love. With Valentine’s Day so close, I was sure you’d still be in the mood for great romance.

Marie has also been kind enough to talk about her inspiration for the series and how it developed, something that, as both a reader and a writer, always fascinates me. But, first things first. Let’s read a bit about the novel:

Read an excerpt from the book the rest of the post:

My next pick is from Geoff Le Pard who has recently slimmed down an impressive 12kilos (26lbs for the uninitiated).  He looks wonderful but he has a few comments on the downside to this event (miracle to some of us).. My heart goes out to him.. except for the retail therapy bit as that is normal!

I’ve lost weight recently. Since July some 12 kilos have just evaporated. I needed to, to fit the ‘not obese’ criteria our medical faci professionals bombard us with. And losing those bags of sugar (which is the best way I have of visualising this loss – that’s 10 to 12 bags) has been a boon. Exercise is easier; I don’t sweat as much or get out of breath going up hill as much, my ribs don’t get sore bending over. My family have had nice things to say about how I look (okay, they’re biased but I’m not about to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, okay?).

But there some unexpected consequences (you may say I’m naive but really I didn’t think about this) to weight loss. And while no one denies being healthy is a good thing, there ought to be a section on side effects, like on a medicine bottle. In no particular order I have noted the following;

Read the 10 downsides to losing weight! :

D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies and her husband have departed on their break from the Canadian winter to Arizona. In this post Debby shares the difficulties that now are placed in our way when flying with bags and increasing automation. It takes all the glamour out of the adventure.

We arrived in beautiful, sunny Scottsdale, Arizona last Wednesday. The lack of sleep the night before we left with trying to get to sleep much earlier than we were used to wound up being a fitful 3 hours sleep, knowing that alarm clock was ready to go off at 4am.

Dragging ourselves and baggage through the airport begins our early day. I have become the schlepper of the luggage now for me and my husband. Despite his age, he’d always been strong and took care of the heavy lifting, but with all the illness he’s suffered in past years, his age has caught up with him; muscles diminished, his pace once many steps ahead of mine now lag behind me.

Read the rest of Debby’s post:

International Women’ Day has come around again and as I look at the newspaper reports and also articles on some of the sites that I follow it would appear that we have taken two steps forward and one step back in a number of critical world issues. Women’s equality is not always about obtaining the same pay and conditions. It is also about the right to vote, wear clothes we wish to, not be mutilated horrendously by tradition and to love and to be with those we choose. This is not to say that there are some amazing men who support those freedom.. but there are far too many who still believe that only they have the right to dictate how we live.  Christy Birmingham celebrates the efforts of some pretty remarkable women who battle not just injustice but sometimes violent and life threatening pressure. Please read and celebrate what you have and is denied to so many.

The day is almost here! March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017. I hope this special day will be full of actions that help move the world toward being gender equal. On IWD, which dates back to 1908, let’s celebrate the accomplishments of women around the globe. Here are five of the many women championing for equal rights for women:
Manal al-Sharif

As a women’s rights activist from Saudi Arabia, Manal al-Sharif inspired a campaign for women’s right to drive. She went against the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia and was imprisoned for nine days after filming herself driving a vehicle and then posting it to YouTube.

Her 2011 Women2Drive campaign put pressure on the government to change the law, particularly when social media picked up the story of this woman who questioned why women did not have the same rights as men. She continues to speak out about female oppression in her country.

Read about the rest of these extraordinary women:

And to finish today’s dip into the world of blogging a post from Norah Colvin. Migration of people is a hot topic. But dig back far enough into your family history and you will find that most of us have had a migration from one country to another in the last 100 years. There is a reason approximately 56 million Americans claim Irish ancestory and celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day around the world are a testament to the survival instinct of those who left the Emerald Isles..Then there are the animal and insect migrations.. it would seem we are all on the move. Norah posted in response to a challenge.. do head over and if you would like to add your 99 words or less then I am sure they will be welcome.

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills raised the subject of migration and challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a migration story.

Although Charli always provides suggestions, she also permits writers to go where the prompt leads, allowing their thoughts to migrate in whichever direction they choose. This is good for me as my thoughts always bring me back to early childhood education and, if I can somehow squeeze it in, butterflies.

Migration is a part of human history. We are told that humans originated in Africa, and that migration out of Africa began about 60 000 years ago (well, that’s one of the stories). That we are now spread across the world is no mean feat, particularly when we acknowledge that most of the migration occurred before the industrial age, long before steam ships and ocean liners, before motor cars and air travel.

Read the rest of the post:

I hope you have enjoyed today’s selection and please do add your most recent link in the comments section so that I can share.