Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be reviewing Melissa Lee-Houghton’s poetry collection, Sunshine, which was shortlisted for the Costa book awards.


Sunshine is the new collection from Next Generation Poet Melissa Lee-Houghton. A writer of startling confession, her poems inhabit the lonely hotel rooms, psych wards and deserted lanes of austerity Britain.

Sunshine combines acute social observation with a dark, surreal humour born of first-hand experience. Abuse, addiction and mental health are all subject to Lee-Houghton’s poetic eye. But these are also poems of extravagance, hope and desire, that stake new ground for the romantic lyric in an age of social media and internet porn. In this new book of poems, Melissa Lee-Houghton shines a light on human ecstasy and sadness with blinding precision.


Although Melissa’s style isn’t one of my favourites, I think her portrayal of mental health is accurate and she describes some of our deepest, darkest thoughts as humans. She has a unique writing style and talks about sexual desire, sadness and ecstasy. There is lots of talk about sexual sensations; I think this borders on sexual obsession throughout the book.

Some poems I could feel her strength and in a lot of others I could feel her raw emotion, her sadness, her bitterness. She struggles through life, trying to find the meaning of it. It is heartbreaking and comforting all at once, knowing that others feel the same way that you do; that we aren’t weird or crazy. She talks of addiction and abuse and her time spent in psych wards, trying to make sense of the world we live in.

If you enjoy no filter language, mental health topics and intimate encounters, then this is the collection for you. Full of raw emotion, Melissa has left her heart open, like any good poet does, for the world to see.

I hope you enjoyed this review and I’ll see you next time! Love, Vee x

2 thoughts on “Poetry Review: Sunshine

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