Sin and I

Category: Poetry
Author: Travis Hupp
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2024
Number of Pages: 164
ISBN-13: 979-8-89132-270-7

Sin and I by Travis Hupp is an evocative collection of poetry that explores the nuanced intersections of faith, rebellion, and self-acceptance within a context marked by personal and societal turmoil. Split into thematic sections—Anger, Politics, Metaphysical, Despair, Hope, and Love—Hupp’s work is a dynamic journey navigating through raw emotions and profound reflections. Hupp’s style is marked by raw, unfiltered language and vivid imagery that encapsulate the complex nature of his experiences and observations. The author’s direct and often confrontational tone creates an intimate and immediate connection with the reader. Hupp does not shy away from brutal honesty, a defining trait of the collection. The emotional spectrum of the collection ranges from rage and resentment to hope and love, making his style both volatile and tender.

Sin and I plunges readers into Hupp’s personal battles and societal critiques. The central themes include the fight against blind conformity, the reconciliation of faith with personal identity, and the challenges of navigating a world resistant to change. Hupp’s poems “Self-defense” and “non-Entity” tackle the oppression of compulsory heterosexuality and societal gaslighting, powerfully commenting on authenticity and resistance. The poet critiques conformity within religious and social institutions. Hupp’s return to Christianity as an openly gay man forms the backbone of the collection, as he seeks to reconcile a faith that historically condemns his existence. In the poem “SIN AND I,” Hupp writes, “Sin and I had quite a run,” reflecting on how sins are often socially constructed and how facing them is a deeply personal and ongoing process. Redemption and self-acceptance are also threaded throughout the collection, providing hope amidst the chaos. Hupp’s voice is distinctively defiant and introspective, and he writes with a sense of urgency and necessity, often blending personal narrative with broader social conundrums. The author's voice is particularly resonant in poems like “Wrong Wrong Wrong” and “Making Light,” where the frustration and disillusionment with societal norms are palpably felt. Sin and I is a compelling collection that challenges readers to confront the often uncomfortable intersections of faith, identity, and societal expectations. Hupp’s raw and unapologetic voice, combined with his incisive style, makes this book a thought-provoking and emotionally charged read. 

Reviewed By: Romuald Dzemo


Date: June 4, 2024