Already, comparisons are being drawn between Andrea Gibson’s new collection Take Me With You and the works of Rupi Kaur and Cheryl Strayed, and it’s difficult not to see this connection. In an unexpected departure from their earlier collections, Gibson’s latest is a compact compilation of previously published pieces alongside new poems, aphorisms, and one-liners.As the movement of Instagram poets, such as Kaur and Nayyirah Waheed, gains traction, Gibson, who rose in popularity as a genderqueer poet and activist on Tumblr and YouTube, seems to be reaching for the same audience of new poetry fans. Take Me With You provides readers a glimpse into their inner-musings in palatable, bite-sized pieces. The poet’s older published collections, such as Pansy and Madness Vase, beg the reader to take time with each poem to explore its depths. In contrast, Take Me With You is – as the title may suggest – a pocket-sized book for a more on-the-go audience.
In this collection, Gibson’s words, printed in a playful font, are sorted into three sections: Love, the World, and Becoming. Each section is a different realm in which the poet shares their experiences, ideals, and beliefs. Illustrations by Sarah J Coleman – including an adorable drawing of the poet’s dog, Squash – accompany some of their pieces, breathing whimsy onto each page.
Additionally, this collection hearkens back to Cheryl Strayed’s Brave Enough – also published by an imprint of Penguin Random House – in which Strayed’s most popular quotes and phrases were compiled in a self-described “gift-sized package.” In the same way that Strayed’s book gained popularity because of its staccato delivery style, I believe Take Me With You will fill that need for readers looking for more of such work.
Take Me With You, published by Plume, a division of Penguin Random House, was released on Jan. 23 and is now available for purchase at bookstores universe-wide, as well as on Gibson’s webpage: AndreaGibson.org.
Ann Marie is a feminist killjoy with a penchant for reading, talking endlessly about mental health and self-care, and petting every dog she sees. She lives in Baltimore, but she spends most of her time on twitter at @annmariebrok.