Author: Katrine Lynn Solvaag
Broken People is the debut poetry collection by Norwegian-born Londoner Katrine Lynn Solvaag. It is split into two sections: The Breaking and the Healing. The Breaking details Solvaag’s experiences of depression and heartbreak, and contains some kickass feminist poems. In this section, there are also some powerful poems about sexual assault and the consequences for the assaulted. The Healing contains some much needed lighter poems about new love, home, and family.
Solvaag has such a beautiful writing style. This is the aspect where I feel that most modern poetry can fall a bit short. Her poetry isn’t two lines of faux deep sentiment, but each has enough substance and structure to tell a proper story. And let me tell you, Katrine is a wonderful storyteller. It is evident that she has studied, lives and breathes poetry, as each piece is so expertly constructed and flows beautifully.
I adored the poems in The Breaking. They felt so raw and relatable, and some of them even made stone-hearted me choke up a little. The poems had a wonderful feminist feeling behind them: I love the story of strong females helping each other overcome things, rather than the sappy damsel in distress nonsense we’re often fed when it comes to heartbreak and mental illness.
I found the poems in The Healing just a little less relatable, as they were very personal to Solvaag’s life experiences. Although I have experienced trying to find a home in a foreign country and longing for a place where you once lived, the moments in these poems were so specific to what Katrine has experienced that I found it difficult to relate to them. This made me feel slightly disconnected to the poetry in The Healing. However, I understand that Broken People is Katrine’s chance to tell her story, so this specificity wasn’t a huge problem for me.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It is evident when you stumble across a poet who really knows what they’re doing: every poem had such a strong structure and flowed so easily. The imagery was wonderful. Solvaag’s poetry has the ability to conjure incredibly strong feelings, allowing the reader to live in her memories for a little while. If you looking for a new poetry collection to dive into, I would definitely recommend Broken People.