Best-known as a musician and a spoken-word performer, poet Tanya Davis has now taken to the page with At First, Lonely. In this collection, she reflects on life’s many passages: falling in love and out, the search for personal truth, the search for home. Davis’s style is one-of-a-kind: a blend of contemporary phrasing with profound personal expression. But her message is universal; over two million people have watched How to Be Alone, a film adaptation of her poem created by independent filmmaker Andrea Dorfman. Tanya Davis’ poetry challenges the intellect and touches deep places in the heart.
I don’t think I can explain how much I love At First, Lonely and Tanya Davis. I don’t throw the word brilliant around lightly, but I have no issues using it here to describe Tanya and her work.
I don’t read a lot of poetry. I think it stems from my university days when I had it shoved down my throat daily. I learned quickly that I’m not a fan of metaphors and such. I want poetry that I can understand and identify with. And At First, Lonely gave me exactly that.
These aren’t just poems. They’re pieces of Tanya: her personality, her life, her being. It’s impossible to read this volume and not feel like you know her, just a little bit. And that you could sit down, tell her about the shit in your life and know that she’d understand.
I own two of Tanya’s albums, so when I read At First, Lonely, I couldn’t help but read it with her intonations and pauses. For some this might have taken away from the poems, but for me, it added to them.
This was just a gorgeous, honest collection of poems.I feel that if I say anything else I will cross the line from acceptable gushing to insane gushing, so I’ll leave you with Tanya’s spoken word piece, How to be Alone, which is included in the book.