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PUSH continues to break new ground with this remarkable poetry memoir of growing up, coming out, and exploring love.This is a memoir that is lived in moments. The moments you know - when you see your parents' marriage dissolving, when you realize you're a boy who likes boys, when you speak the truth and don't know if it will be heard. The moments you don't recognize until PUSH continues to break new ground with this remarkable poetry memoir of growing up, coming out, and exploring love.This is a memoir that is lived in moments. The moments you know - when you see your parents' marriage dissolving, when you realize you're a boy who likes boys, when you speak the truth and don't know if it will be heard. The moments you don't recognize until later - when you leave things unsaid (even to yourself), when you feel your boyfriend letting go, when you give up on love. And the moment you get love back. In an amazing narrative of poems, Billy Merrell tells an ordinary story in an extraordinary way.


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PUSH continues to break new ground with this remarkable poetry memoir of growing up, coming out, and exploring love.This is a memoir that is lived in moments. The moments you know - when you see your parents' marriage dissolving, when you realize you're a boy who likes boys, when you speak the truth and don't know if it will be heard. The moments you don't recognize until PUSH continues to break new ground with this remarkable poetry memoir of growing up, coming out, and exploring love.This is a memoir that is lived in moments. The moments you know - when you see your parents' marriage dissolving, when you realize you're a boy who likes boys, when you speak the truth and don't know if it will be heard. The moments you don't recognize until later - when you leave things unsaid (even to yourself), when you feel your boyfriend letting go, when you give up on love. And the moment you get love back. In an amazing narrative of poems, Billy Merrell tells an ordinary story in an extraordinary way.

30 review for Talking In The Dark : A Poetry Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I ran across this book in the poetry section of the library, opened to a poem in the middle and liked the style of the poet. It wasn't until I got it home that I discovered it was Billy Merrell's memoir done in poetry. It's doubly impressive that some of the poems he had actually written while in high school. As a complete body of work this was beautifully done. The intimacy of his shared memories are heightened because of it being conveyed with the well chosen words that poetry requires. The ho I ran across this book in the poetry section of the library, opened to a poem in the middle and liked the style of the poet. It wasn't until I got it home that I discovered it was Billy Merrell's memoir done in poetry. It's doubly impressive that some of the poems he had actually written while in high school. As a complete body of work this was beautifully done. The intimacy of his shared memories are heightened because of it being conveyed with the well chosen words that poetry requires. The honesty with which he shares his struggles, his life, and his loves as a young gay man is courageous. Separately, the poems stand on their own, they do not have to be kept in the collection. This memoir was part of Scholastic's PUSH incentive to publish young writers and artists. I'm going to have to purchase this book, because I find myself reflecting on some of the lines; and I know I will want to reread these poems in the future.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    I really, really liked this memoir in poetry by Billy Merrell. I found him to be honest, candid, vulnerable, passionate, and just overall desirous to get out his own thoughts and emotions of his life growing into adulthood and much of what that entails...questioning life, love, death, familial relations, gay relations, and more. Merrell writes on his thoughts of love, gay relationships, intimate times with his family, his desire to tell his parents of his homosexuality, of being a "man" to his da I really, really liked this memoir in poetry by Billy Merrell. I found him to be honest, candid, vulnerable, passionate, and just overall desirous to get out his own thoughts and emotions of his life growing into adulthood and much of what that entails...questioning life, love, death, familial relations, gay relations, and more. Merrell writes on his thoughts of love, gay relationships, intimate times with his family, his desire to tell his parents of his homosexuality, of being a "man" to his dad "before becoming a man." Although I am straight, I found his poetry of his love life to be touching and I was able to relate to much of it. I loved his poem called "Mother" when he talks about the fact that his mother "knew" but just went in a round about way of finding out for sure if he was gay. "Intimacy" is another poem I adored as Merrell talked about a game he and Nico played in which Nico expressed his not liking that Billy didn't love him yet. I found this poem to be tender and fun to read. The line where Billy said, (view spoiler)["well, you don't share your toothbrush" (hide spoiler)] had me cracking up! He is so funny and his personality really came out in this book. Recommendation: Definitely read it! Some of his poems (at least one he labeled as such) were written in high school. I taught high school for 25 years, and I can definitely say that he is one talented person!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mckoylyn Dillon

    It was a good memoir but i just couldnt fully be into it. I really enjoyed the right style.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This book of poems, which all link together to tell a story of a life (or at least a life in progress), resonated with me. Not everything spoke to me, but there were poems and lines that caught me especially, and I hope it's not just because the author is my age (born the year before me). I took it out from the library and I think I'll purchase a used copy when I get around to it. It's not long (136 pages of poetry), but there is a full story in these poems, although there are large gaps (and som This book of poems, which all link together to tell a story of a life (or at least a life in progress), resonated with me. Not everything spoke to me, but there were poems and lines that caught me especially, and I hope it's not just because the author is my age (born the year before me). I took it out from the library and I think I'll purchase a used copy when I get around to it. It's not long (136 pages of poetry), but there is a full story in these poems, although there are large gaps (and some time jumps) that left me wondering a little. Overall though the story itself isn't important so much as the emotions behind it--mainly, love. Love of our parents, our siblings, our friends, our lovers. Love gone sour, fresh love, bitter love, one-sided love, and loveless. I don't I could have found this at a more perfect time in my life. I'll never look at peeling the labels off of bottles the same. Be sure to check out my other reviews on my blog.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Though not related to the goal of the wide reading project, I plan to use some of the poems from this text for the speech team! Verse that reads like prose is great for students who are skeptical of poetry. Additionally, though this is not necessarily narrative poetry, the clear connection between the memories, though they can and do stand alone, creates a collection of poems that is quite moving and nicely woven together. Individually, some of the poems would be great for reviewing figurative l Though not related to the goal of the wide reading project, I plan to use some of the poems from this text for the speech team! Verse that reads like prose is great for students who are skeptical of poetry. Additionally, though this is not necessarily narrative poetry, the clear connection between the memories, though they can and do stand alone, creates a collection of poems that is quite moving and nicely woven together. Individually, some of the poems would be great for reviewing figurative language with high school students.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read this for my Adolescent Literature class. While I appreciate the poetic ability, I did not find myself being extremely interested. I really wanted to enjoy it, but I also think the fact that I can be very picky about poetry held me back. The poem "Because" was a favorite though. It was very raw and emotional, but not in a "I thought this out and picked the perfect words" kind of way. It was right from the heart.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tena Edlin

    I read this book for my adolescent literature class, and I enjoyed the poetry, but I just enjoy poetry more when I can read a poem or two at once instead of a whole book. The beginning of the book was my favorite because I found the feelings of the teenage voice of the author interesting, heartbreaking, and tender all at once. This book could really help other gay teens struggling to find themselves and struggling to find acceptance.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Will

    Great, relate-able series of poems pinpointing moments growing up big and small: folding sheets with mom, getting glimpses of parents still in love in photographs, older brother moving out, trying to understand step-dads, sexuality, growin' up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lorina

    For some reason, the first part of the book about his younger years were especially sad and hard for me to read without feeling way too much at once and not wanting to cry in public. I'm so dramatic, but really the poems are gentle and tender and beating like a pulse.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Not as emotionally deep as it would have been, the memoir details the coming of age and coming out of a boy as he loves and loses and loves again. It seemed too straight-forward to really get attached to, as if it distanced the readers.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    He's no Walt Whitman, but Billy is a damn good poet, based upon this first book of his. The poems seemed to grow and add more depth as the book progressed. I especially liked the LSD and AIDS-scare poems. Looking forward to seeing more from this poet.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Marshall

    this book was very hard to put down. It's about how he learned to go through life being a boy starting to love other boys. written in poetry, it's a great book :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Angeletta

    These poems speak to the reader on an intimate level, and allow those burdened by the fear of being who they are to gain a sense of courage. I love this book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    BCPL Youth Services Librarian

    Click to see book in BCPL's online catalog Click to see book in BCPL's online catalog

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    A quick, yet completely necessary read. This memoir in poetry was beautifully written in such a way that I think almost anyone can at least begin to relate.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    I'm a really big poetry fan. Billy Merrell speaks to me. The poems interconnect to form a poetic memoir of his early years. Some are funny, some heartbreaking. All wonderful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ILANA

    Exquisite poetry. And that's not even taking into account that Billy was a teenager when he wrote this.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Asher Agee

    Something that I would want my kids to read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Wood

    A compilation of poems ranging from fond childhood memories to family tensions to heartbreak to new love

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karmon Perez

  21. 5 out of 5

    Callie Hensler

  22. 4 out of 5

    Miss Amanda

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aliya

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chantel

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anita

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Bunny Couture

  30. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

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