Amie Rose Rotruck
Talking in the Darkby Billy Merrell
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PUSH continues to break new ground with this remarkable poetry memoir of growing up, coming out, and exploring love. This is a memoir that is lived in moments. The moments you know - when you see your parents' marriage dissolving, when you realize you're a boy who likes boys, when you speak the truth and don't know if it will be heard. The moments you don't recognize until later - when you leave things unsaid (even to yourself), when you feel your boyfriend letting go, when you give up on love. And the moment you get love back. In an amazing narrative of poems, Billy Merrell tells an ordinary story in an extraordinary way.
Amie Rose Rotruck
- Scholastic, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Scholastic, Inc.
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 644 KB
- Age Range:
- 14 - 18 Years
Meet the Author
At 22, Billy Merrell is the youngest author to date published by the Push Imprint of Scholastic Inc. Merrell, who grew up in Jacksonville Florida, began writing poetry around eighth grade. He had a better grasp of rhyme and meter than the other students in his classes, and as a result, the teacher began giving him more challenging poetry assignments rather than less expressive work. It wasn’t until his sophomore year of high school that Merrell began to write about his own feelings, and recognized writing poetry as a liberating activity.
Merrell is recent graduate of the University of Florida with a B.A. in English. During the summer, earlier in his college career, Merrell was hired as the first PUSH Writing Intern. During this summer internship, Merrell came to New York City and began work on his first book. The culmination of his work with PUSH is talking in the dark, a memoir composed of poetry that documents a story of growing up, coming out and exploring love. As a gay man himself, Merrell sought to write a book that he felt could have been of use to him as a teenage boy coming out. It is “an affecting memoir told in verse, this work launches a promising young poet
.[Merrell’s] sophisticated verse and compelling story will capture attention as it stirs compassion.” School Library Journal
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I'm 15, and I was in the library at my school, looking for a memoir. The purple cover caught my eye. I started flipping the pages and realized it was a poetry memoir, and i'm not that into poetry but i gotta give it a try. I went back to my class and started to read this book. It started out confusing, well to me. Probably because i don't really read poetry often. But i could understand some of the things he was saying. After the first couple of pages, he was talking about how his childhood was like & what he had experience. The poems were straightforward, revealing and dealing with mature topics such as family struggle, homosexuality etc. I highly recommend it.
I have just finished 'Talking in the Dark'. I thought it was amazing. I couldnt put it down and it only took me a short 24 hours to read it. I had randomly picked it off the shelf at a Barnes and Noble and when i read the back i knew it was a must read for me. I think that his book has been one that I can definately connect with; the struggles of trying to find who you are, the unexcpeted responces from those you care about, and the confusion that follows with all of the above. Falling in and out of love, testing the waters, all apart of trying to become who you know you are. I had been reading many different novels with characters that were lesbians once I myself came out, but once I saw his book I decided that maybe I should try and read something from the other side of the rainbow. I think that this book has been the one that I have enjoied the most and it really made me feel as if I am not alone in the world, and that there is someone else out there that has gone through what I am going through and felt what I am feeling. You won¿t find a book that has such pure and honest emotion. Ariane
I don't typicly enjoy poetry. I wish my English teachers read Mr. Merrell's book and taught it cause I would actually listen. Mr. Merrell is very smart and his poems are so beautiful. My mom bought me TALKING IN THE DARK and I'm glad she did because we are much closer now. I'm gay and she's okay with that but I wasn't. But now I think I am because of what I learned from the book. My favorite poems are 'Histories', 'Moth', and 'Breakfast'. I also like 'This Bird Has Flown' because I like the Beatles and I know what it is like to loose your brother when he moves away. The best thing about Mr. Merrell's book is that it isn't about being gay. It is about living 'daily and wholly' in a world where it is't so easy always. 'There are things we do when no one's looking that make us feel like we're alive. And when we're finished we want to die --- not for what we've done, but for only feeling when no one's there.' from 'December' My mom likes the book too and says that Mr. Merrell is very wise for only being 21. I think she's right. P.S. I love you mom.
I'm a lesbian. I'm 20, not really a teen. But a friend told me about Billy Merrell's TALKING IN THE DARK because she knew I loved poetry, and it has since become one of my favorite contemporary collections. And not only that, but I found in Merrell a place to feel comfortable. Not only because I'm gay and so is he, but because he happens to be gay, and so do I. He is so wise for his age. My mother is reading it now, and that is what she told me. The poems are smart, emotional, revealing. Merrell strips his life down to amazing, telling lines that left me wanting it to go on and on. I've read it twice already and am taking my time reading it a third time now, and there's always something new and beautiful to find in the rereading. My favorite poetry is personal, careful, and spiritual (not religious, necessarily, but intensely in touch with the world). That's what the poems in TALKING IN THE DARK are like. If you know someone, anyone, who reads poetry, this is a book that will affect them, always.