By: Amber Whitted
Publisher: Day Blue Green Night Publishing
Publication Date: June 2018
Reviewed by: Anita Lock
Date: November 2018
Rising spoken-word artist Amber Whitted cuts to the chase in the third volume of her collection of words and thoughts, Perfectly Imperfect.
Originally a play on the author’s birthday, the title, Perfectly Imperfect, is aptly suited to Whitted’s newest collection of poems that reflects on “what it truly means to be human.”
Whitted divides her fifty-plus poems into six sections that are a balanced mix between her personal experiences and life in general. With “identity” being the overarching theme, related topics cover love, relationship, femininity, and spirituality, to name just a few.
Much of Whitted’s work is set—with the exception of section five, which are all haikus—in lilting free-form verse that is replete with accented rhymes and periodically sprinkled with alliteration and repetition. Her writing is sure, steadfast. While deftly expressing the Black female experience, what she pens is not limited, by any means, to the African American community. Coming from the depths of her heart, Whitted speaks to all of humanity.
Whitted does not mince words. She manipulates the written word into visceral prophecies, much like a potter does shaping clay into eye-catching sculptures. Her messages are crisp, clear, and filled with humility, honesty, and tenderness that have been woven tightly together with integrity.
Shifting between first and second points of view, Whitted can capture the essence of a topic in a matter of a few lines, or carry a reader through the highs and lows of a particular experience from one of her longer two-pages-or-more poems.
In her poem “Sankofa,” Whitted zeros in on this powerful Ghanaian image and message of not forgetting one’s roots while moving on in life.
“Echoes of your influence linger.
I take only what I need
to journey on.
Promise beckons me forward,
and closed time offers
Whitted gives stability to all in Perfectly Imperfect, as seen in this self-titled clip…
“I am perfectly imperfect
and elegantly errored.
I am a being in development,
healing from her past
and moving toward her future...”
And words of encouragement, as in her haiku titled “Youth”:
“Life gets hard sometimes.
For now, laugh, play and enjoy.
Be the child you are.”
Rounding out her themes, Whitted includes an inspiration segment dedicated to her love and relationship with God.
“It is my hope,” Whitted states, “that you [the reader] will see your perfectly imperfect self in these pages and be blessed by each word.” Kudos to this rising spoken-word artist for attaining her goal.
Quill says: Perfectly Imperfect offers a collection of refreshing and inspiring words and thoughts that speak to all walks of adult life.
For more information on Perfectly Imperfect, please visit the author's website at: www.amberwhitted.com