Friday, March 24, 2023

Returning Home with J.W. Bella.

September 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Education, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( As a poet uses words to liberate themselves from life’s many chains; they give others the right to be liberated by those same words. They allow themselves to be vulnerable while teaching us about family, culture, pain, and salvation in ways that allow us to take a journey with them to freedom. Reading a book of poetry can be hit and miss when it comes to summoning raw emotion from the reader. Some writers make us think about life in general, some may make us feel personally, but very few works of poetry can paint us a picture that is as vivid as a narrative from the first poem to the last.

Far too often we pick up poetry books for specific pieces when we need to feel someone understands where we are in the universe, and the challenges we face instead of embracing an entire book. When we see the resilience of the author, and the delivery of words that both arrest and free our soul it’s important to know the author gives us their life to achieve that moment. Author J.W. Bella, in her new book “The Slip Under My Dress”, gives us permission to come to terms with the culture of our origins, upbringing, family, and community as she embraces her own.

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“The Slip Under My Dress” is a very artistic narrative by way of poetry. The author uses imagery, punctuation, word play, and various forms to help the reader understand the feeling and movements of the piece. J.W. Bella doesn’t just want the reader to understand, she wants them to experience every line, word and syllable of her journey on a deeply personal level. This is a poetry book that keeps the reader engaged, and turning the page as they come to terms with all the emotions the words are invoking. You will want to know what will be said next. Nothing about this body of work is orthodox…it truly is a reflection of the writer.. Coming from a small town in Louisiana J.W. Bella uses poetry to address small town thinking, church culture, church hypocrisy, the cycle of addiction, neglect, abuse, and the packaging of such in Sunday’s best with a mask that misuses “it is well”. She boldly crafts her experience of pain, and uses this body of work as a path to liberation, and salvation. Once the reader gets to the end they may feel more compelled to take off their own mask, and confront the areas of pain within their life stemming from family and community.

J.W. Bella’s “The Slip Under My Dress” is a poetry book that offers the reader the deliverance to embrace themselves. The author allowed the reader to join her in this exposure in hopes that as she is set free the reader may experience the same. This poetry book will make you laugh, cry, shout, and take a stand. You’ll be happy you embarked upon this journey. Personally, I found that the book discussed the raw reality of issues too many people in the black community have had to endure. Many of us have had to deal with church and family in a negative space.

The small town mentally when mixed with abuse and church foolishness has killed the dreams of so many of people. It’s refreshing to see it addressed so vividly, and bluntly. I recommend this book to all readers either as a path to help one deal with similar situations addressed in the book, or a tool to address our community as a whole. J.W. Bella is an amazing writer, and her voice is needed amongst our people.

Please go out and get J.W Bella’s “The Slip Under My Church Dress”. It can be purchased on Amazon, and anywhere books are sold.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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