Roberson's Side Show

Bruce Von Stiers

I've got another one of those books on the shelf gathering dust things. Around a year and a half ago, Amelia Roberson sent me her book Side Show. I read it but never got around to writing a review of it. So now, eons later, I decided I had better get a review done.

Amelia is a poet and short story writer who lives in Roanoke, Virginia. Some of her writing has been published in the Master of Fine Arts Journal from Duke University. And Amelia sometimes has her commentaries published in the local newspaper, the Roanoke Times.

Side Show is soft covered and has 121 pages.

Amelia starts out the book with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson about life experiments. That is followed by an interesting poem called Easy Winter.

Then there is the story, Julie's Escape. A young girl is trapped by her surroundings. She is looking for a way out. But will human nature and rationale win out?

The Band is a poem that reflects actions and thoughts of members of a rock band.

As I began to read the poem, The Office, I thought it was kind of detailing a regular white collar office environment. But it became something else very quickly. The visualizations that Amelia put into the poem are interesting, yet somewhat stark.

And stark depictions abound in the poem Emergency Room, which is about, you guessed it, a visit to the emergency room.

Another story of human nature is Ask Antion. Tony is a psychic who writes for the newspaper. But his life is a mess. A chance encounter with a neighbor could change all that. Maybe.

Road Kill is a story about a holier than thou church, its pastor and some bizarre circumstances. It seems that not only does Amelia know how to write about the angst of human nature, she can add a bit of the unusual and strange to her stories.

Many of the poems have to do with drinking, being drunk or somehow otherwise incapacitated. Amelia seems to bring forth a harsh reality that is not too pleasant.

Aunt Amanda was kind of a sad story about a woman with mental problems.

There are many more poems and stories in Side Show. But I think that I've covered just enough to get you interested in checking out the book. There is human drama, harsh realities and just a little bit of strangeness in these pages. If you're looking for a volume of stark depictions of life, in both stories and poetry, then Side Show is something to definitely read.

To find out more about Side Show and Amelia Roberson, visit



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© 2015 Bruce E Von Stiers