Review: Where I Ache by Megan O’Keeffe

where I ache coverThough my history with modern poetry is rocky, I have really been enjoying the hard hitting collections this year, so I was delighted when Megan reached out to me and asked if I would review her poetry collection. She described it as a poetry collection broken up into 6 chapters ranging from themes such as depression, jealousy, grief, and strength and it was certainly that. Each chapter had a different feel and theme to it, but the transition and flow of the collection was really paced well and a natural progression.

We’re making angels out of monsters in the dark. – from “Please Don’t Sugar Coat this for Me”

Trigger warnings for this collection include what she mentioned above as well as insecurities/self esteem issues and there were some references to abuse. At some points it was like reading someone’s diaries as they were going through sometimes joyful, sometimes more traumatic events. I think the underlying theme to all of it was strength and survival through it all.

I definitely had some favorites when it came to this collection including “Lost at Sea,” “Fragile” and “To My Knees” among others.  As each part progresses, you can definitely see the journey of the author.  The illustrations by Kevin Furey also add a great contribution to the work, at some times very poignant.

Sand isn’t stable ground to rely on, but even concrete can crack – from “Ocean Blues and You”

This was a great exploration of poetry and there were some truly beautiful moments in her poems. Did every poem call to something in me? No, but that’s as it should be. I’ve always felt that poetry is something that can speak to the soul, but is different for every person and in saying that I think different people will definitely get different things out of this collection.

Where I Ache comes out on June 10th, be sure to check it out if it sounds like something you would enjoy.  Thank you again to Megan for giving me the opportunity to read it.

Happy reading!

Review: Wild Embers by Nikita Gill

wild embersSince picking up Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill earlier this year I was eager to check out her previous book, Wild Embers and see if I enjoyed it as much.  Spoiler alert, I did. Wild Embers was an amazing collection of modern poetry.  The subject matter was a touch more raw than her other work, and there are definite trigger warnings for talk about abuse of all kinds.  This collection explores not only what the abuse may do to someone, but also what it feels like to come out of it.  That is by far not the only subject matter as it touches on stereotypes, misogyny and more, but it was some of the most poignant of the collection.


“You are a myth born to the wrong age.  You are the kind of book that has magical stories trapped in every single page.”

While many of the poems are hard to read and tug at the heart, just as many of them are also empowering and encouraging. I’ve said many times that I am not a major fan of modern poetry, which holds true, but Nikita Gill has become an auto-buy author of mine.  I have loved everything of hers that I have read, perhaps because it resonates so much with me, but the content is important and I feel would resonate with many people.

What have you read lately that has made an author an auto-buy author?

Happy reading!

Review: the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace

the mermaid's voiceI’ve read the previous installments in the Women Are Some Kind of Magic series and while I enjoyed them, they weren’t favorites. Lovelace was definitely one of my favored voices in modern poetry and I was willing to give anything she put out a chance. This installment in the trilogy blew me away.

One thing I love about Lovelace’s collections is that she always includes trigger warnings in the beginning. This is so appreciated and valuable when it comes to the type of content being discussed. Her language is beautiful while the emotions and subject matter are very raw and real. The way she phrases and formats her poems lend to the style and the expert use of language.

Perhaps it is my own experiences, but this collection just spoke to me. The progression of the story felt like a real progression of healing and learning. The guest poems from other poets perfectly melded into the collection. While they were different voices being added in, they fit in and belonged there. It was wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time.

I definitely recommend this collection for anyone who enjoys her writing or anyone looking for modern poetry that touches hard hitting and difficult subjects.  The mermaid’s voice returns in this one comes out on March 5th from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Happy Reading!