This is my very first book review. I love poetry and was obsessed with poetry while growing up. I have come across many great poetry books and poems that have shaped me. There is a poem for everyone and I found a book of poems that moved me in a way that has me writing about it. The book is called All of the Cups in My Kitchen Turn Red When You`re Near, by Ieva Uloza.
It is a poetry book about two people who are on a journey of learning to understand and love themselves before they can come together and be loved by one another. Although it is based on two people’s love many of the poems had me reflecting on my self-love and worth. The beautiful graphics that co-inside with each poem are captivating and what takes this poetry book to the next level. What I found out was these are her own drawing that she made come to life in this book. It takes an artistic person to be able to put down on paper what they are seeing in their minds. The mind that created this work of art is truly a talented individual.
The title is inspired by a Turkish TV show. In the show, the female protagonist gives the male protagonist a cup that changes colors depending on the person’s mood. When you hold the cup in your hands it turns yellow which means that you’re happy, the color black means you are angry, and the color red means that you’re in love, etc… Learning how to love yourself and letting other love you is what inspired the book All of the Cups in My Kitchen Turn Red When You`re Near.
While reading this book of poems made me stop, think and reflect on my own love story and the journey I went on to get there. It was so relatable and I felt like the author was describing my love story. Through all the good and the bad times I and my husband have experienced, this book described them all and at the end of it, he truly did make all the cups in my kitchen turn red. I highly recommend it who want to better understand the trials and tribulations to achieve great love. The kind of love that isn’t all butterflies and rainbows it is about true love and how two people went on a journey together to find themselves and each other.
Although I loved all of the poems there are two that were my favorite. One called is Gemini and the other is called We Were Broken Once. I believe poems speak to you whether you know it or not. Gemini for me represented the ever-changing stages in a relationship we find ourselves in.
Then the poem We Were Broken Once represents the craziness people in a relationship can go through. That through all of the obstacles when you come out of the other side of it you find yourself with a strong foundation that you can build on together.
All of the Cups in My Kitchen Turn Red When You`re Near Q&A
I had an opportunity to sit down with the author Ieva Uloza and ask questions about the book and what inspired her to start writing. In every book, there is a piece of the author and being able to discuss what makes this poetry book so relatable was one in a million.
It was an amazing interview and Ieva Uloza is an inspiration who took a passion for writing and turned it into a reality. These are the questions I asked to get more insight into the inspiration for the book and its talented author.
What inspired you to start writing?
I was obsessed with books ever since I first learned how to read. My grandparents were also very into reading and so is my mom, so I was always either reading stories myself or having them read to me which helped me to develop a very vivid imagination from a young age which I`m very thankful for. It`s funny because as a kid I don’t think I ever realized that books were written and that an actual, regular person was behind my favorite books like Pipi Longstocking or the Harry Potter series. I thought that they sort materialized out of thin air and ended up on my bookshelf.
When I came to the states and discovered different fandoms like the Harry Potter fandom and the Hunger Games fandom, was when I started to pay attention to authors and want to learn about their creative process. Around that time was also when I started to seriously think about trying to write something myself. I get inspired by pretty much anything, a song lyric, a music video, a post I see on social media, or a snippet of conversation I overheard when taking the train, so storytelling in the form of writing comes naturally to me and it`s something that makes me genuinely happy.
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first ever short story when I was in sixth grade, for my English class. It was this cute story about a sister shoe and a brother shoe. After that, I didn’t write for a long time and finally got serious about writing my freshman year of college.
How long did it take you to write All of the Cups in My Kitchen Turn Red When You’re Near?
The actual writing of the book was very sporadic because originally I didn’t have any plans to put the poems into a book. I wrote poems while taking the bus or the train, to pass time, and I probably wrote all of the poems you see in the book in the span of about two years. The illustrations, including the cover, are made up of drawings and doodles I collected over the past six or seven years. The actual putting together of the book took about three months, give or take.
What was the most difficult part about writing this book?
Two things – jumping from writing long-form novels to writing short form. I`m used to writing novels where I can take as many pages as I need to paint a picture, but a poem is so condensed and your space is so limited. It was difficult, but it was also a nice challenge. Also, the technical aspect, figuring out how to put the book out because I self-published. There are so many platforms that you can publish through and even more companies that can help you format the book, which I definitely needed. But it was a learning process and I`m so happy that I put myself through it because I learned what to do and what not to do, and now I`d feel much more confident if I ever decided to self-publish another book in the future.
What inspired the idea for your book?
Impatience… At the time I was editing my young adult novel, which I`m actually still working on, and I ended up getting stuck. Novel writing and editing is a wonderful process that I absolutely love, but sometimes you also want to pull your hair out because it`s such a huge undertaking and I`m someone who knit picks my writing which leads to me writing very slowly. I knew that the novel wouldn’t be done any time soon and I got this urge to finally get my writing out there in some way. I remembered all of the Note App poems I had collected on my phone and from there, everything sort of fell into place.
How did you come up with the title?
It`s actually inspired by one of my favorite Turkish TV shows. In the show, the female protagonist gives the male protagonist a cup that changes colors depending on the person`s mood. If you hold it in your hands and it turns yellow, it means that you`re happy, the color black means anger, the color red means that you`re in love, and etc. Learning how to love yourself and letting others love you are central themes of the book, so incorporating the cup concept into the title felt right.
Which poem is your favorite in the book?
The very last poem “All of the Cups in My Kitchen Turn Red When You`re Near.” The poems take the reader on a journey and at times it gets a little dark, but the last poem is a culmination of all the trials and tribulations and the promise of a happy ending. I`m big on happy endings, so it was important for me to end the book on a hopeful, positive note.
Is this your first book or are there others that you haven’t published?
This is the first book I`ve published, but I actually wrote my young adult novel first. I`m hoping to finish the last round of edits and send it out to agents in 2022 to see if I can get representation and hopefully see my novel in bookstores which is a dream of mine.
What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
There wasn’t any specific part of the book that was more difficult to write than any other, but, since I wrote most of the poems without knowing that I`d want to eventually put them into a book when I finally decided to do it, I needed to make sure that all of the poems fit together and told a cohesive story. I`d say figuring out what I wanted to say and filling in the gaps with poems I wrote specifically for the book was the biggest challenge, but I think it all came together in the end.
What attracted you to write in this genre?
I like poetry because through poems you can say things without explicitly saying them and readers can also interpret the lines in different ways that feel personal to them. I like the idea of every reader making the poem unfold based on their imagination and experiences. I`m also a big fan of Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish and what these talented ladies have in common is the ability to fit an entire story into a quick, three-minute song. Choosing my words wisely and making sure that every one of them held weight and wasn’t simply there to fill space was a challenge, but I think that in the end, it helped me grow as a writer and a person.
To self publish a book and aspire to finish a novel that has been years in the making is truly inspiring. Writing is a talent and writing poetry that people can actually relate to is what makes a writer amazing. Being able to captivate an audience and tell a story in poetry is a rare talent that not many have, but Ieva Uloza has that talent and so much more. I am excited to see what she has in store for the future. There is no doubt in my mind that this young author is going to continue to create and inspire all of us.
I want to take this time to thank Ieva Uloza for sharing her story with me and letting me have the honor to share it with you. You can follow her on Instagram @ievauloza for more. If you want to purchase a copy of her book you can find it on amazon. It is available on kindle and if you are like me and like the physical book you can also get a hardcover book.