Literature Reviews

Poetry Review: root

root melissa tripp

Rating: ★★★★★

Title: root

Author: Melissa Tripp

Genre: Poetry

Publication Date: 22 Mar. 2015

Publisher: Amazon Createspace

Where to buy: root

Summary: “root is an intimate digest of short poems and navigational communication.” (Source: Goodreads)


Tripp’s collection is divided into 7 chapters and within the chapters, there are brief subsections where the poet manipulates form. Once I began the book, I was not sure if I would finish it as it was not what I was expecting, I was underwhelmed by the lack of words on the page.

But then, Tripp’s words began to sink their teeth into my brain, and I understood all at once.

As Tripp notes, root is a poetry collection that does not follow any grammatical rules; this is in order to produce authenticity for both the reader and herself. Tripp’s use of space, form, and irregular punctuation is what made root real for me. root is about starting from square one, or as Tripp emphasises throughout, the need to re-introduce ourselves to our own mind and body.

My favourite subsection of root is 10 Reasons Why You Should Be More Gentle With Your Human Design:


you’re still clearing house of the wrong guests. (p.267)

In very little words, Tripp has expressed a truth that I could not even begin to articulate by myself, and that, my friends, is why I love poetry.


Despite its balance between positive and negative thoughts, the work overall was highly feministic which, at times, became repetitive due to the consistent use of the pronoun ‘she’. As a person who is non-binary, it was sometimes overwhelming and uncomfortable for me to read personally, especially the chapter, THE SHE FILES. Despite this minor personal issue, I cannot stress how incredibly important this poetry book is for everyone, regardless of gender. I can assure you that you find parts of yourself in this poetry book that you completely forgot about.

Why did I read it?

Through Twitter, I discovered the author Melissa Tripp and her debut poetry collection, root, and due to the amount of love this collection received online, I knew it had to be bought quickly, read slowly, and reflected upon for a long time – possibly for a lifetime. As the title suggests, root is about individualism and growth – I had to be all over it.

Does the author have other works?

Not at the moment, but Melissa Tripp’s active on social media, in particular Twitter. She has recently started a campaign called #journeyingtaughtme, inspiring others to share their journey through life.


root is the largest poetry book I have ever read and the book has expanded in width due to dog-earing so many pages. I think that says it all.

– Melissa Jennings

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