Small Talk eBook

Small Talk eBook


In her second poetry collection, Theresa Sopko addresses all of the things that should be spoken of freely, with open minds and open hearts, in place of the small talk that cloaks our intricacies in the mundane. Covering topics from learning to be comfortable in your own silence, your own body, mental health, self care, the spectrum of relationships, the past versus the present, and more, Small Talk is a relentless conversation that does not allow for avoidance or denial.

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The book is quirky, and compelling- titles are often included at the foot of poems, striking ironic tones, sometimes hitting like punch lines. Because of the inclusion of script typography, I felt almost like I was reading the poet’s sketchbook.
The subject matter may be “small talk” but the poet takes these mundane subjects, familiar experiences, and magnifies their significance. The tone of Theresa’s poems is conversational but the language is refreshing and original. She expresses the agitated ennui of the mid-twenties so well that I wish I could tell her that it all gets better and that she is “tough enough” for the writing that is to come.
Many of the poems address an invisible “you”. Throughout the book, the poet plays with the notion of dating/loving herself and I sense that the nuggets of advice and philosophical musings are messages and reminders for herself. She wrestles with living in twenty-first century America (the small talk) while her poetic soul longs to soar to higher realms. The poet is anchored in the world of school, and boyfriends, sisters, parents, coffee shops, and tattoos but writing, an overwhelming urge, is an undercurrent in many of the poems. A poem about tattoo ink could be a metaphor for the exposure the writer feels when writing and publishing confessional type work, such as poetry.
The poet is very young, only twenty-three years old. It takes a lifetime to express a worldview created within a family and this poet is aware that something is germinating inside of her. That is exciting and lets me know that much more will come from this talented young writer.
— Sandy Day, author of Chatterbox Poems
I loved so much how I could understand this right away, I really loved how everything came together as “small talk” but in meaning, it’s things no one really ever talks about.
I just loved it!
— McKayla DeBonis, author of Bones In The Garden & Semicolon
My favorite poems in this collection were the ones about love (I’m a romantic). I enjoy Sopko’s shorter poems the best, the ones that pack a punch in just a few words. I could relate to many of the poems, especially the ones about love and anxiety. A personal favorite was “Coffee”.
While I liked some of the longer poems, I found myself quickly skimming through a few of them. However, I adore the creativity and variation of themes in this collection. I love the section titles, and the cover is absolutely beautiful as well.
This was a wonderful collection that I will be revisiting soon.
— Shelby Leigh, author of It Starts Like This
I adore the concept of this book. Sopko uses typical small talk prompts, such as talking about the weather and asking after someone’s parents, and gives deeply honest answers though poetry. Her pieces are incredibly intimate, and many of them offer a sense of nostalgia that spurred up my own memories of my childhood home and all the things I did as a kid. She has this truly beautiful way of reaching into your soul and stirring around all the feelings you’ve kept hidden inside. In sharing her own thoughts and feelings and memories she made me think of my own, and that’s some truly powerful poetry. I couldn’t recommend this book enough-it’s beautiful.
— Lexi Vranick, author of Exit Ghost, Ready, Aim, Fire, & more.