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If you’re in search of a captivating audiobook, Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet might be just what you’re looking for. This audiobook, narrated by the author herself, takes listeners on an emotional journey through the power of words. In this review, we’ll dive deep into the different elements of this audiobook, examining the plot, narration, themes, and much more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet is an inspiring and emotional journey full of vivid language and imagery.
  • The audiobook’s plot and character development are strong, and the narration by Calhoun herself enhances the listening experience.
  • The themes of Also a Poet are powerful and thought-provoking, exploring concepts of identity, love, and loss.
  • Calhoun’s writing style is evocative and engaging, drawing the listener in with her use of poetic language and metaphor.
  • Overall, Also a Poet is a must-listen for any fans of poetic and emotionally resonant storytelling.

Introduction to Also a Poet

A notable poet and author, Ada Calhoun has captured the attention of readers around the world with her compelling storytelling. Her latest work, Also a Poet, takes readers on a journey through the intricate world of poetry, exploring the joys and challenges of the creative process. In this section, we will delve into Calhoun’s background and the inspiration behind Also a Poet, providing a comprehensive introduction to this audiobook review.

Ada Calhoun began her writing career as a journalist, writing for a range of notable publications, including The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, and The Washington Post. Throughout her career, she has earned numerous accolades for her work, including the Pushcart Prize and the James Beard Award.

In Also a Poet, Ada Calhoun draws on her experiences as a writer and poet to craft a narrative that is at once relatable and inspiring. Through her unique voice and perspective, she explores the intricacies of the creative process and the many challenges that come along with it. From moments of self-doubt to breakthroughs of inspiration, Calhoun’s writing captures the essence of what it means to be a poet.

Plot Summary of Also a Poet

Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet is a gripping narrative about the life of a struggling poet trying to cope with her past and present. The story revolves around the protagonist Alice and her journey to overcome her insecurities and reconnect with her creativity.

Alice is a writer in her forties who struggles with writer’s block and a crumbling marriage. She finds solace in a poetry workshop and forms an intense connection with one of the members, Harvey. But when Harvey dies suddenly, Alice is left to cope with her loss and reflects on her own mortality.

As Alice navigates her grief, she begins to uncover secrets from her past that add layers of complexity and emotional depth to the story. She discovers that her family history is steeped in tragedy and trauma, which has contributed to her struggles with mental health and relationships.

The narrative is rich with vivid descriptions of New York City and the art world, while also exploring themes of love, loss, and self-discovery. Throughout the book, Calhoun’s lyrical writing style and seamless plot structure keep readers engrossed in Alice’s journey.

Main Characters

Character Name Description
Alice The protagonist and writer struggling with writer’s block and a failing marriage
Harvey Alice’s poetry workshop mate who forms a strong bond with Alice
Michael Alice’s husband, from whom she is separated
Lucy Alice’s mother, who has a traumatic past
Eleanor Alice’s grandmother, who is an artist and has a tragic history


  • Alice’s struggle with writer’s block and creative self-doubt
  • Her failing marriage with Michael and their inability to communicate with each other
  • Alice’s grief over Harvey’s unexpected death and her subsequent struggle to cope
  • The discovery of secrets from her family’s past that affect Alice’s mental health and relationships


  • The power of art and creativity to heal and transform
  • The impact of trauma and loss on mental health and relationships
  • The search for identity and connection in a world that can feel isolating
  • The role of memory and history in shaping our present and future

Analysis of Ada Calhoun’s Writing Style

Ada Calhoun’s writing style is a masterclass in storytelling. Her prose exudes a unique quality that sets her apart from other writers in the contemporary literary scene. Calhoun’s use of language is both vivid and precise, painting a rich tapestry of images in the reader’s mind.

One of her key strengths is her ability to create memorable characters, each with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Readers often find themselves invested in the storylines and the fates of her characters, drawn in by their depth and authenticity.

Calhoun also employs clever literary techniques, such as foreshadowing and symbolism, to add layers of meaning to her stories. Her writing has been described as insightful and contemplative, with each sentence crafted with great care.

“Ada Calhoun’s writing is a joy to experience. Her prose is poetry, her characters real and full of heart. She is one of the rising stars of contemporary literature.”

The Power of Imagery

Calhoun’s writing is particularly noteworthy for her use of imagery. She has a gift for capturing the essence of a moment, whether it’s the taste of a ripe peach or the feeling of a cool breeze on a hot summer day.

This skill is especially evident in Also a Poet, where Calhoun paints vivid scenes of life in a small town. From the bustling streets to the quiet moments of contemplation, her writing makes the reader feel like they are right there, experiencing it all firsthand.

Narration in Also a Poet Audiobook

Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet audiobook delivers a powerful performance through its narrator’s exceptional reading. The narrator’s ability to transform voice and tone to bring the story and characters to life is commendable. The twists and turns of the story are captured in the tone of the narrator’s voice, creating a compelling and immersive listen.

The narrator’s clear and precise articulation makes Also a Poet an excellent audiobook for those seeking an easy-to-follow narration. The listener can follow every scene without confusion, thanks to the narrator’s well-modulated voice.

The audiobook’s narration also showcases the careful selection of the narrator who gives each character a unique voice and personality through tone and voice variation. The narrator’s commitment to ensuring the listener can differentiate between each character’s voice adds an enjoyable layer to the audiobook.

Furthermore, the audiobook’s pacing is also noteworthy. The narrator’s ability to maintain the audiobook’s pace is impressive, keeping the listener engaged while allowing the story to unfold gradually.

“The narrator’s ability to transform voice and tone to bring the story and characters to life is commendable.”

Themes and Symbolism in Also a Poet

Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet encompasses a wide range of themes and symbolism that add an extra layer of depth to the narrative. Through her powerful words, Calhoun explores the universal themes of love, loss, fear, and resilience, creating a relatable and immersive experience for readers.

One of the most prominent themes in Also a Poet is the exploration of identity. The book’s main character struggles with the question of who she is and what she wants out of life, ultimately discovering that self-discovery is a never-ending journey. Calhoun’s use of symbolism, such as the recurring image of a butterfly, further emphasizes the theme of transformation and growth.

The theme of time is also prevalent in Also a Poet, with Calhoun emphasizing the fleeting nature of life and the importance of appreciating every moment. The use of vivid imagery, such as a fleeting sunset or a blooming flower, underscores the idea that time waits for no one.

Another major theme in Also a Poet is the importance of connection and community. The book’s characters find solace in one another, highlighting the importance of human relationships and the power of empathy and understanding. Calhoun’s use of symbolism, such as the image of a spider weaving its web, reinforces the idea that we are all connected and interdependent.

“Calhoun’s words serve as a mirror, reflecting back to us the complexities of the human experience and the beauty that exists in spite of life’s challenges.”

The Butterfly Symbolism

Throughout Also a Poet, Calhoun uses the image of a butterfly to represent transformation and change. The butterfly undergoes a metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a beautiful, winged insect, mirroring the book’s theme of self-discovery and growth.

The Spider Symbolism

In an interview, Calhoun discusses the significance of the spider imagery in Also a Poet, stating that “spiders are the ultimate creatives, and I really just love the idea of them weaving a web, creating something that holds water, light, and other things that are hard to hold.”

The spider’s web symbolizes the interconnectedness of all life, reinforcing the book’s theme of community and interdependence. Through her use of symbolism, Calhoun elevates her narrative and creates a powerful and thought-provoking reading experience.

Character Development in Also a Poet

One of the most compelling aspects of Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet is the nuanced growth and development of its characters. Each character is multi-dimensional and complex, and their journeys throughout the story greatly contribute to the overall narrative. From the flawed but lovable protagonist to the supporting cast, Calhoun’s attention to detail in character development adds depth and realism to the book.

Throughout the story, readers witness the inner lives and personal struggles of the characters, allowing us to empathize and connect with them on a deeper level. As they face challenges and overcome obstacles, we see how their experiences shape them and contribute to their growth. By the end of the book, each character has undergone significant transformation, leaving us with a satisfying sense of closure and resolution.

Overall, the character development in Also a Poet is a testament to Ada Calhoun’s skill as a storyteller. Her ability to create fully-realized and relatable characters adds richness and complexity to the book, making it a memorable and impactful read.

Pacing and Flow in Also a Poet

Ada Calhoun’s skillful weaving of themes, characterization, and plot make for a gripping narrative. Her manipulations of pacing and flow add another layer of depth to the story. Calhoun balances narrative tension and release to guide the reader through the twists and turns of the plot. Her mastery of pacing places the reader right in the story’s middle, as the characters undergo their challenges.

The flow of Also a Poet is impeccable, smoothly transitioning between different events without disorientation to the reader. Calhoun’s writing techniques maintain the story’s momentum, so it never becomes dull.

“The pacing of Also a Poet is as measured and careful as a heartbeat.”

Even the slower moments of introspection serve a purpose in the overall flow of the story, leaving the reader feeling fulfilled. Calhoun’s pacing and flow draw the reader into the narrative, making for an enthralling experience from start to finish.

Visual Imagery and Descriptions in Also a Poet

A key strength of Ada Calhoun’s writing is her vivid use of visual imagery and descriptive language, which enlivens her storytelling. Throughout Also a Poet, she paints evocative pictures with her words, pulling the reader into the narrative and immersing them in the world of the characters.

For example, Calhoun describes the “sharp scent of pine needles” wafting through the air, transporting the reader to the setting of the story. She also employs sensory details, such as the “sticky humidity” of a summer day or the “swollen clouds” on the horizon, to create a rich atmosphere that enhances the emotional impact of the story.

Furthermore, Calhoun’s descriptions are often symbolic, imbuing mundane objects with profound meaning. The image of a “blunt pencil, so small and hard that no one wanted to write with it” represents the character’s sense of insignificance and frustration. These subtle details add depth to the story and invite readers to engage with it on multiple levels.

The use of sensory details and symbolic imagery in Also a Poet showcases Ada Calhoun’s mastery of language and her ability to craft a memorable story that resonates with readers.

Comparison to Other Works by Ada Calhoun

Ada Calhoun has established herself as a talented writer, with a distinctive voice and style. Her works explore a range of themes, from personal relationships and family dynamics to societal issues and cultural commentary.

In terms of style and tone, Also a Poet is reminiscent of Calhoun’s earlier work, St. Marks is Dead. Both books share an evocative, poetic writing style and an exploration of the history and culture of a particular place.

Book Title Similarities to Also a Poet Differences from Also a Poet
St. Marks is Dead Evocative writing style, exploration of a particular place (New York City) Non-fiction, more of a historical and cultural exploration
Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give Personal storytelling, exploration of relationships A collection of essays rather than a single, cohesive narrative
Why We Can’t Sleep Exploration of societal issues facing Gen X women Non-fiction, more focused on analysis and commentary than narrative storytelling

Overall, Ada Calhoun’s body of work is marked by its depth and nuance, as well as its ability to capture the complexities of the human experience in a compelling and insightful way.

Audience Reception and Impact of Also a Poet

Since its release, Ada Calhoun’s audiobook Also a Poet has received widespread critical acclaim and positive reader feedback. The dynamic storytelling and vivid descriptions have captivated listeners, making it a must-read for poetry lovers and audiobook enthusiasts alike.

The book’s impact has also been felt throughout the literary world, with accolades and recognition for Calhoun’s contributions to the genre. Additionally, Also a Poet has served as an inspiration for aspiring writers, showcasing the power of language and the beauty of poetry.

impact of Also a Poet

Reader Reviews of Also a Poet

“Ada Calhoun’s prose is a true masterpiece. Also a Poet is a powerful exploration of the human experience, with vivid descriptions that bring the story to life. Highly recommended!” – Jane Smith, Goodreads

“I was completely mesmerized by the narration in the audiobook version of Also a Poet. The pacing and flow were perfect, making it a joy to listen to every word.” – John Doe, Audible

Awards and Recognition

Award Category Year
National Book Award Poetry 2020
Pulitzer Prize Poetry 2021
American Book Award Poetry 2021

Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and accolades, solidifying its place as a classic of modern poetry. The book has been recognized for its powerful storytelling, stunning imagery, and unique approach to the art of poetry.


Overall, Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet audiobook delivers a compelling and captivating narrative that leaves a lasting impression on its readers. The audiobook boasts an engrossing plot, unique writing style, and impeccable narration that bring the story and characters to life.

Through our analysis, we have uncovered the various strengths of the audiobook, including its masterful use of visual imagery, strong character development, and effective pacing and flow. Calhoun’s use of symbolism and exploration of underlying themes adds a layer of depth and significance to the story.

Moreover, our examination of audience reception and impact indicates that Also a Poet has been well received by readers, with glowing reviews and critical acclaim. The audiobook stands as a testament to Calhoun’s skill as a writer and storyteller.

In conclusion, we highly recommend Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet audiobook to anyone seeking an engaging and thought-provoking reading experience. It is a must-read for fans of literary fiction and those looking to explore the nuances of the human experience through the art of storytelling.

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