All the Beginnings of Everything is a poetic triumph for Kindra M. Austin. As in her previous collections, the loss of Austin’s mother and the resulting grief is a shadow that still hangs over much of the poetry in this collection, though here Austin pushes beyond that specific grief and focusses her poetic lens on her entire life and history. Austin opens up her veins and lets her life, her pain, her anger, and her history bleed onto the page. In the tradition of confessional poets such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, Austin lays everything bare in a sometimes uncomfortably personal way. But the best poetry makes you a little uncomfortable as it makes you question yourself and the world around you. And while she is baring her soul, Austin is always in control and always strong as she guides you through her psyche. Like Van Gogh she turns trauma, grief, and pain into a beautiful work of art that points the way to the light we all strive for.
All the Beginnings of Everything is a well-crafted poetic cycle that will leave you wanting more and I cannot recommend it enough.