Thaw is a debut poetry collection by Chelsea Dingman, a collection about loss, violence, and poverty, abuse, and family. It is a deeply emotional collection, one that hits you right in the gut. Alternating between childhood and adulthood, being a mother and being a child, Dingman skillfully uses her surroundings and environment as a projection of her soul; her thoughts and herself are deeply affected by the different environments she finds herself into, with her mind working almost as a mirror of her surroundings.
Her line breaks do not necessarily follow her sentences, a characteristic of her art that separates her from other artists. Her themes, her narrative, even the way she chooses to show her story make her unique and irreplaceable. Dingman and her work made me realize, once again, how much I love free verse poetry. I actually believe it’s harder to write than regular poetry (the one that actually rhymes), and I find it much more satisfying. Its inner rhythms and pacing can be manipulated into making you feel angry, sad, even happy, nostalgic or euphoric. It has a certain strength and power within it that I admire, and I found Dingman’s work to be a prime example of modern free verse poetry. Definitely an artist I’ll keep an eye out for.
**An ARC was provided via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review**