Our favourite Artists, Writers, & Poets of the decade!

As the founder of CCIQ Press, I thought that it would be a whimsical idea for my team and I to acknowledge our favourite creators of artisanal expression through the last decade!  Strap in, below are some truly remarkable individuals worthy of exploration! A new decade should afford us more artistic inventions that originate via our imagination, these writers and artists below are indeed ones to constantly look out for. 
By: Valisa Bernardino  
Maile Williams (@mlhcvaw) is not only my one of my top writers of the decade, but she is one of the top humans of this lifetime. Her writing is laced with intelligent and grabbing metaphors, yet specific. There is not an ounce of wasted emotion in every syllable. She writes for from her core and isn’t afraid write the ugly side of beauty. Maile will be one of the best writers of our time.
Sarah Maria Murdock (@sarahmariawrites)  has been a favorite of mine since the first poem of hers I ever read. I was instantly a fan of her work. This poet writes with such unique language. The arrangement of words is like no other. She writes with strong emotion that lays gently inside each body of work.
Crystal (@cwefoot.art) I have followed this artist for quite a while. What I love, possibly obsessed about is the way this she captures the female form. It is body positive art with some erotica tones and all of it is done beautifully.
@the_ljilja This artist/photographer has made my top list because of the amount of inspiration I get from their work. This photographed self portraits pull so much emotion. They are so layered and lend space to reflect. They give the sense of wanting to be connected to my most primal self. All of that is packed into stunning images.
By: Jennifer A. Grisham 
Neil Gaiman.  Neil is a master storyteller and artist of words. His imagination for characters, settings, and tales is like none other. He is my personal hero in all things creative. Coraline and Neverwhere are perhaps my top favorite books of his of all-time. If you love fantasy, fairy tales, and darkness,  Gaiman is a must-read. His stories have touched me like none other.

Erin Morgenstern. Recently, this magical artist of words released her second book, The Starless Sea. It is next on my to-read list and I have been itching to get to it since she sent me a signed copy in October. Her debut novel, The Night Circus, is romantically dark and magical. It is one of my top 5 favorite novels of all time.

Sarah J. Maas. This author pens young adult fiction and is newer to me. Having discovered her Court of Thorns and Roses series, which is a very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I fell in love. Her writing is rich with darkness, fantasy, sexuality, and faeries. She has another series called Throne of Glass which features Cinderella as an assassin.  Wildly creative, she has become a favorite of mine for sure.
By: Sonja Mabel McClure 
Adrienne Rich's writing is powerful, and her content is bold. The thought-provoking ideas she presents are intriguing and uncensored.  A master of language and a trail blazer in her trade. I had the privilege of attending one of her readings and she’s as fascinating in person as her words are on the page.
Leonard Cohen has the eye of an artist. I admire his crossover abilities, in his songwriting and the use of his own illustrations alongside his writing. I love the tone of his voice, haunting and apocalyptic one moment, and then, gentle and sentimental in another instance. He is a spectacular storyteller.
Mary Oliver. It’s extraordinary the way Mary pays tribute to and encapsulates nature and wildlife in her writing. I adore the picturesque sensory and imagery in her poetry. As a nature enthusiast, I’m deeply inspired and influenced by her writing.
Lea Lumière. Everything about Lea seeps art. From her delightful language, her compelling use of vocabulary and her vivid imagery, to her beautiful painting techniques and expressive dancing. I applaud her ability and passion to pursue and participate in a variety of artistic outlets.
Saul Williams's spoken word has made the biggest impact on me. I’m impressed with his performance skills. He recites his captivating words from memory with ease and great intensity. He brings an innovative and brilliant perspective to the writing world. His talent to merge poetry with hip-hop and music is highly commendable.
“Saul is every kind of great artist combined into one.” —Nas
By: Artemis Skye McNeil 
Lotus. She represents herself by the color blue and goes by the name Lotus. A gypsy heart and warrior soul.  Her style frail. Her writing strong. Everything about this writer and incredible soul screams talent and authenticity. Her words are nothing less than transforming.
Samuel Hurley. Is tattoos and beard with all the undying romance of yesteryear. A true poet. His ethereal words make even the most jaded believe in true love. You will be swept away by by gone era prose come to 21 century life. His spoken word will freeze you in your tracks then melt you where you stand. He is truly a one of a kind and one of the nicest people you would be privileged to meet.
Laura Butler. I’ve only recently had the great privilege to find her poetry. Laura finger paints with words and draws you a picture you walk right into as you read line after glorious line. An incredible talent and with a refreshing humility.
By: MK McWilliams
Morgan Parker: Not just a poet, though that would be more than enough, Parker is a novelist and 2017 fellow of the National Endowment of the Arts as well as a 2016 recipient of the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Her work gives us what we need more of in the Literary world: honest art about her experience as a black woman in today's society. She is observing, living, and writing from her heart. Required reading: Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night (2015) and Magical Negro (2019)
Ocean Vuong: This Vietnamese-American novelist, poet, and essayist is the author of the 2019 powerhouse On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. He is a recipient of numerous awards for his writing, including the T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry. It's no wonder why when you delve into his work, which is rooted in his immigrant upbringing. He tells the stories of this difficult, yet common, experience in such a beautiful way. Themes of his work include heartbreaking loss, desire, violence, and joy, which are further expressed in his collection of poems, Night Sky With Exit Wounds.
Chelsie Diane: A woman's woman, this poet speaks her truth so loudly, you can't help but be swept away with it. She is revolutionary because she writes without apology, without wanting to impress. She shares the truth, regardless of whether in that moment it inspires or casts a shadow on her experience. Her words are not just for herself and for women like her, but also for women who yearn to be like her but are too scared to try. Chelsie's Instagram page houses beautiful pictures of fragile flowers on a backdrop of hand-typed poetry that bares its teeth. Her aesthetic might be lovely and soft but her words are strong, edgy, and filled with the kind of truth that scares away lesser mortals. Find her on Instagram @poemsandpeonies.
By: Rania M. M. Watts 
Kris Duncan, did something within her work that had never occurred to me before -- to really think about the deeper meaning of poetry and how much it really means to me.  I was completely hooked when I had first laid my eyes on her pieces. Kris goes right to the jugular when it comes to evoking emotions through her work. The majority of the time when I read her pieces I'm truly reduced to tears.  The expression is always flawless, her word choices always flow with the subject of her piece. (@poetica.ex.machina) 
Scott Laudati, I honestly could not have a list of my top poets throughout the decade and not mention Scott. He was on my top my list years ago when I was still writing at The Punk Archive years ago.  When you think the work could not get any better -- I've read each one of his poetry books in addition to his novel "Play The Devil" and each time I turn that last page I'm in complete awe of Scott.  His work chronicles his experiences in such a fashion that makes you want to dive in to the poem you are reading to asses the scene that he so vividly scribes. (@scottlaudati)
Christina Hart, houses the flexibility to pursue her dual talent as  a novelist and poet simultaneously. The characters that are brought to the forefront of Christina's mind are beyond multi-dimensional. The type of personalities that you really want to take your time to get to know. And, her poetry, Christina is indeed one human who truly bleeds her words, many times her poetry has reduced me to tears. Christina, is immensely brave when she writes as her writing comes from the deepest crevice of her essence and holds steadfast to the feelings regardless of how painful a piece may read. (@christinakaylenhart)
Niels Schoenmaker, affords us delicious poetry steeped at times inside of recipes.  The universal language is not love -- in my opinion it's food. To be able to share a food journey that involves an adventure for your palette and soul simultaneously -- renders me riddled with glee. If there was one word that I would use to describe the way in which Niels writes I would say very sweet and wholesome.  The kindness and talent that oozes from Niels is pretty awesome. To be able to write one thing, to be the architect of something that will eventually end up in your stomach is in my opinion to be a priceless bi-product of Niels artistry. (@niels_schoenmaker)
Anthony Bourdain, the moment I found out about his suicide my heart completely broke. The way in which Bourdain shared his story in his first publication, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, was almost too honest. The way he writes with his sarcastic undertones and tremendous appreciation of satire consistently made me think. Bourdain has left us with not only a catalogue of diverse books but, so many shows to watch if we feel lonely for not only the sound of his voice but many international and local destinations.  Bourdain's work consistently without fail provided us with much food for thought. 
....now, in the immortal words of Porky Pig "Th-th-th-that's all folks!" My team and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all new multi-hued optics that have been reading our humble little blog and would like to wish you all a very Happy & Prosperous New Year! Much love to you all! ❤

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