Latest Book Releases - June/July 2024

June 2024
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the publishers

The Guiding Pen
By Brittany Benko
Published by Brittany Benko
Release Date: March 29, 2024

This third collection of poems published by Brittany Benko is a lovely love letter to her daughter, Nicole. As she says in The Guiding Pen’s dedication, “I hope these words help and guide you on your journey through life.” Benko’s poetry is personal and touching, like a warm embrace surrounding her daughter with the words of wisdom only a mother can can give in guiding their children. Throughout 80 pages, poems start with nurturing titles like “Mother’s Guidance” and “A Mother’s Love,” reflecting a child’s first breaths out of her mother’s womb, and conclude with titles like “Your Dream,” and “You’re Growing Up,” encouraging her daughter to fly into her future from a cocoon into a butterfly. There are beautifully worded moments that are words we can all live by, such as “Play your music to your own special song/Your heart will never steer you wrong” from “Your Own Path.” Overall, this poetry collection is an endearing expression of the relationship that all mothers and daughters cherish. In addition to being a self-published poet, Benko is an Etsy seller, LitPick book reviewer, special needs mother, and law enforcement wife who lives in the Lowcountry.

Stories of Struggle: The Clash Over Civil Rights in South Carolina
By Claudia Smith Brinson
Published by The University of South Carolina Press
Release Date: 2023

Author Claudia Smith Brinson has poured her 30-plus years of award-winning journalistic experience worldwide into Stories of Struggle, a non-fiction collection of stories about civil rights in South Carolina. As Brinson’s introduction poignantly, frankly describes, “This is a book of stories. Stories of arson, gunplay, abductions, murders, troops holding rifles with fixed bayonets. Stories of hate letters, death threats, bombs, and robed Klansmen parading, burning crosses, whipping, beating, knifing, and killing of those who displeased them.” These historic Black South Carolinian “displeasers” are who the book celebrates – who risked their lives for equality over a timeline of 20 years. The book is a result of extensive research and more than inspiring 150 civil rights activists, like James Myles Hinton, Cecil Ivory, Mae Frances Moultrie, Rosetta Simmons, and more. In addition to Stories of Struggle, Hinson was co-author of Injustice in Focus: The Civil Rights Photography of Cecil Williams.