Review of The News Factory by Matthew Abuelo

The News Factory by Matthew Abuelo

The News Factory exposes the underbelly of NYC.

If you think that you know New York City, you might want to re-examine your thoughts.

In The News Factory, writer Matthew Abuelo takes you inside the less glamorous parts of NYC, which is a sharp contrast to the bigger-than-life concepts of the city that is familiar to tourists and outsiders. The powerfully written collection, of poetry and short stories, delves into daily lives of people who live within the individual rooms of rundown single room occupancies (SROs) or who live on the streets.

The News Factory does not sugarcoat the city that many tourists describe as full of bright lights and fun. While those parts of the city do exist, Abuelo focuses on NYC’s underbelly, explaining the plights of people with little money, big dreams and heart-wrenching struggles.

The poetry and short stories delve into what lives are like for prostitutes, people with AIDS, alcoholics and more. The writing is gritty and real as Abuelo describes interactions between the city’s residents and explains their lifestyles lack many necessary resources. Abuelo does not shy away from swear words, which makes sense as they give an authentic feeling to the character profiles. I bring up this point so that you are aware this is an adult read.

Do I recommend The News Factory? Absolutely. The use of language is exquisite, and I have reread many of the poems. The Silent Screen is one poem to point out. Here is an excerpt:

“Do you know the stories that sit on the curb
in garbage bags
from rooms with eviction notices on
SRO doors”

The inclusion of short stories with the poetry provides reading variety, and the longer pieces expand on the residents’ hardships and personalities. My eyes certainly opened to the notion that there is a gritty part of NYC. Abuelo bases his writing on his observations of the city, as per his author biography at the book’s end. He describes real events and adds fictional elements too.

Connect with author Matthew Abuelo further on Google+. Pick up The News Factory at Plain View Press or Amazon.

This is christyb, reading poetry and wondering if your own city has an underbelly to expose…


13 thoughts on “Review of The News Factory by Matthew Abuelo

  1. Veronica Shine

    Sounds exciting. I am a native New Yorker who has jumped off every subway stop on the IRT, IND and BMT to get a glimpse of the world around her. I am certain this work will be very close to my heart.


  2. Aquileana

    It seems like an interesting read, which focuses on the individual stories of minimum characters, people which are the “essence” of the great global cities, though…

    We are talking about marginalized women and men, often turned into invisible presences, ignored and hidden below the neon lights of the city and within the alleys…

    I love the way you organized the main points of the review above here…

    Thanks for sharing; Christy;

    Aquileana 🙂


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Amalia,
      Yes they are the people many people ‘make’ invisible… it is interesting to read the gritty pieces of the city and try to fit them with the way many people see NYC.

      That’s great that you see the images that the author shows here by reading my review. I am happy to share quality writing with others! Take care!


  3. Pingback: What Lines the Shelves of Christy’s Billy Bookcase? | Poetic Parfait

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