‘Pillow Thoughts II: Healing the Heart’ by Courtney Peppernell

pillow-thoughts-peppernellCourtney Peppernell’s new collection of poetry Pillow Thoughts II: Healing the Heart is focused primarily on what it sounds like: love.

Peppernell’s collection is separated out into five sections that correspond to a specific circumstance that is related to love. There is everything from “If your hearts is in love” to “If your heart is missing someone,” and each section focuses on giving advice and providing anecdotal stories in the form of poetry to match that advice.

While Peppernell does begin and end the book talking about the power of the self, most of the collection focuses on the importance of relationships and how influential relationships are on the self.

Slated for release by Andrews McMeal Publishing on August 7, 2018, you can preorder a copy of Pillow Thoughts II: Healing the Heart by Courtney Peppernell from your local bookstore.

Read more poetry book reviews at Centered on Books.

FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.

‘Ruler of Hearts’ by Jason Kerzinski

ruler of hearts-kerzinskiRuler of Hearts by Jason Kerzinski is a poetically driven collection of works that glimpses the lives of those in the French Quarter of New Orleans with a searing depth.

Kerzinski divides his collection into four different sections: Ruler of Hearts, Little Abyss, In Bloom, and Exceedingly Beautiful. Each section features a host of mini character sketches focusing on a different aspect of life for those characters. From the effect that New Orleans has on in its people, to ideas of both spiritual and physical death, Ruler of Hearts captures the most intimate moments of life in mere pages.

The long form poems range from one paragraph to a few pages, but the poignancy with which Kerzinski is able to grasp and dissect the lives of his characters is what propels the collection forward. Each piece focuses on a different person who the reader has never met before, and yet by the end of that piece the reader feels as if she knows this character in an intimate way, as if she’s been reading about him for 150 pages already.

Rather than flowery language, Kerzinski utilizes short terse descriptions to feed the narratives, and he does so in the most compelling way. Though he might be simply telling the reader exactly what’s happening, the images that he procures are visceral and moving in a way that transports the reader directly to the scene. Kerzinski also includes illustrations throughout Ruler of Hearts: black and white sketches that symbolize some aspect of a particular poem or section.  The illustrations are uniquely oblique, and some of them are utterly terrifying; yet, all of them throw you into the piece with greater fervor, wonder, and dread.

Ruler of Hearts is a beautifully crafted work that gets at the heart of life in the French Quarter in the most direct and concise manner. Kerzinski is a master of descriptive poetics, and his first published collection is a testament to this claim.

Published by Obzene Press in 2016, Ruler of Hearts is available for purchase online at Obzene Press.

Read more book reviews of small press published work at Centered on Books.

FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.