Book Reviews

No Secrets by J.A. Carter-Winward


What Da Cover Says:  No Secrets is the second volume of Carter-Winward’s genre defying writing that is part poetry, part fiction, part memoir and all told with a clarity that does not allow secrets. These short pieces tell us the stories many of us hide, even from ourselves.

What I Says:  Another fine collection by the amazing Queen Mother cunt. (QMC)

The last book I read by the QMC was “No Apologies” a very angry collection, no holds barred, it was really in your face. No Secrets is calmer, it reads like you have sat down for a coffee with her and she is telling you stories from her life, from abusive husbands, sexual conquests, children and religion to some very moving poems about her mum. I don’t think there is a single weak poem in the lot, every single one gets a response from the reader.

The first highlight was called “Sign” angry frustration about people who over-share their personal life details when you’re trapped with them in an elevator.

Then “Black and White” shows a different side of the author, standing up for a girl who had made a mistake that she would be stuck with for a long time.

Any cat owner will understand “Executer”, probably the funniest one in the book.

The best line was in “Gender-Bender”, I think it explains perfectly the sort of poems you’ll find when you pick up this book….”I write like a woman who isn’t afraid.” Brilliance!

When I was reaching the end of the book, I read it as slowly as I could so it wouldn’t end, I was thinking to myself this book is so good, what sort of poem could you end this with? It’s gotta have a real kick-ass feel to it and the QMC nailed it. two lines, one more laugh and it was all over. Perfect.

If you’ve never read a single poem by J.A. Carter-Winward then give this collection a go, you’ll be hooked.

Second Reading:

February 2022 was the second time I read this book, I am much wiser now and have a much better understanding so it’s time for a professional review of this book of poetry:

Page 1:  “Love it”, Page 2: “Love it”, Page 3: “Love it”, Page 4: “Love it”…………..Page 201 “Love it” and finally Page 202 “Love it”….I still can’t find fault with this book, the favourites from last time are still my favourites this time around.  I laughed, I shook my head in disgust as QMC recalls abusive relationships and I punched the air and said “Hell Yeah” when she gives God what for.  I think the only change for me this time was due to my greater awareness of mental health,  “Gut Punch” really stood out explaining anxiety and how people misunderstand it and “Visitor” show’s a gentler side of QMC that I don’t think I appreciated fully last time.  And that last 2 line poem is still the greatest ending to a book of poetry ever!



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