I received a copy of Megan O’Keeffe’s Cracked Open for review purposes. As always, this review reflects only my honest thoughts on the book.
by Megan O’Keeffe
Publication Date: April 16th 2018
Paperback; 110 Pages
Cracked Open is a down to earth and vulnerable journey following the human heart as it searches for love. This collection cracks the reader’s chest wide open and nourishes the heart it touches. Rising author Megan O’Keeffe offers a raw and open narrative to pull you into every poem and emotion. Divided into five chapters, this debut book also features twenty never before seen poems as well as fresh illustrations to create a complete experience for its audience.
When I first received my copy of Cracked Open, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the cover–the image here really doesn’t do it full justice! I’ve tried to explain the impact this had on my reading of the poems within but, so far, I’ve failed: It’s as though the earth has cracked open beneath you like the speaker’s heart and you’re wallowing in an ocean beneath. It’s reminiscent of water, space, and emotion simultaneously. It’s haunting and beautiful and sets the tone perfectly for this collection.
I mention this in part because the poems in this book are accompanied by illustrations by Noor Moiz. I haven’t come across much poetry accompanied by art, at least outside of a literary magazine. Having experienced this, though, I truly hope to do so more often (in fact, I’m contemplating whether I can make it happen for one of my manuscripts in progress!).
At the only writing conference I’ve ever attended, a speaker instructed us that love poems were largely overdone and overrated–and rarely done well. I’ve long suspected that to be untrue and Megan O’Keeffe proves that in Cracked Open. The book is split into five sections: The Bleeding Heart, Stitching it up, The Recovery, Hot-Blooded Desire, and A Strong Pulse. The poems follow their speaker through love, heartbreak, and recovery in a beautiful collection of words and images.
As I read, I found myself thinking of pop songs in the best possible way. As much as I love Taylor Swift, I think Megan gives her a run for her money with these poems! She reveals thoughts and feelings in clear, lyrical language that draws you in and leaves you wanting to hear more.
Fortunately for us, she’s got a category on her blog with just that! I’m looking forward to digging through her site to read more of her work soon.
About the Author
Megan OKeeffe is an up and coming poet with her debut collection Cracked Open. She has been writing poetry for over a decade before publishing her work on her blog Debatably Dateable. A romantic at heart, Megan can’t help but draw inspiration from the love and relationships around her. Always developing her art though, Megan touches on mental illnesses, self love, and life’s journey. When she isn’t writing, Megan can be found spending time with her dog, two sisters, and boyfriend.