Victoria Munoz is a charm and a blessing.
It’s refreshing to find a poet, male or female, who can write family-friendly verse that isn’t trite, stilted, forced, or otherwise hackneyed, but Connecticut poet Victoria Munoz has the gift.
The 24 poems in During Your Reading are a delightful read. Like cool syrup on a stack of hot pancakes or a soft drink on a hard night, Munoz touches the poetic palate with words and images that inspire, entertain, and bring a smile to one’s face all at once. There is nothing pretentious about these poems, simple as they are in their lyricism.
Victoria Munoz graduated from Western Illinois University with a B.A. in music. Her lyrical style shows through in every verse as she delivers poetry that anyone from any walk of life can read and enjoy. Her elegance and subtlety are virtues in a world rife with angst, overzealous verve, political bongo banging, ideologically vituperative rants, and in-your-face eroticism. She knows how to express herself in respectful ways without selling out the message for hype, and that’s a rare gift.
During Your Reading isn’t without its faults, however. I did find a few typos and some of the verse isn't as tight as some more established poets, but word for word, Victoria Munoz is a poet worth reading and well above the national average in poetic mojo. Her musical background, and the fact that both of her parents are Spanish language poets, may have something to do with that.
Munoz’s greatest asset may be her ability to take the mundane and make it interesting, even crafty, as in her title poem “During Your Reading.” “During Your Reading” is an homage to poets and their reading styles as Munoz pontificates on what goes on in a readers’ mind when the poets read. Down to earth and illuminating, I found the poem, reprinted below, to be quite exhilarating, and it's even better to hear her recite it:
During your reading I heard your voice.
It was quiet, it was sweet,
It was loud, it blared!
It was plain …
It was momentous!
During your reading I wondered
How much was the Chinese rice across the street,
Or the cookies on the counter behind me.
I thought about that word you stumbled on
And replaced it with another.
During your reading I felt good, I felt sad.
I was inspired. I wrote.
I turned the page, corrected, reviewed
And I stole your last refrain.
During your reading I heard my own voice whisper quietly…
I was afraid, I was broken hearted, I was brave.
I fell in love, you made me cry.
I stood alone inside our poem.
It was breath-taking!
If I were to rate During Your Reading for audience propriety, I would give it a PG rating. Some of the subject matter may not be suitable for smaller children, but there is no profanity or images that would be offensive to general audiences. During Your Reading can be ordered from Victoria Munoz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also be sure to visit Victoria's blog.
NOTE: Victoria Munoz has sinced re-edited and republished her chapbook, correcting some of the deficiencies noted above.