Where I Ache is a cleverly structured and highly emotional poetry collection by Megan O’Keefe.
Where I Ache is the second poetry collection by Megan O’Keefe. I love poetry and I particularly enjoy reading indie books, so I was very interested in this collection. I received an e-mail from this author asking if I would be interested in reviewing her book in exchange for a free copy. I was pleased for the opportunity.
I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me to write a review for this book. It was very difficult for me to read this collection because of all the challenging issues that O’Keefe explores in her writing. I am a very empathetic person and many of O’Keefe’s poems were incredibly heartbreaking for me to read. Her writing reminded me of another poetry collection that I enjoyed, Depression and Other Magic Tricks, by Sabrina Benaim. O’Keefe’s writing is not for the faint of heart. Trigger warnings abound. The pieces explore serious issues such as depression, body dysmorphia, death, grief, addiction, and abuse.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the clever way in which it was organized. The author divides the book into six sections: My Foggy Head, My Weak Spine, My Bruised Heart, My Grieving Knees, My Greedy Green Eyes, and My Soothing Arms. This provides the work with structure and emphasizes the book’s narrative journey toward finding strength within oneself. The entire book is illuminated by simple yet provocative line drawings.
I recommend Where I Ache for fans of free verse. If you like Rupi Kaur and Sabrina Haim, there is a good chance you will find comfort within the pages of O’Keefe’s Where I Ache.
Author Interview with Megan O’Keeffe
What advice would you give to a young person, especially a woman, who aspired to be a poet?
My first piece of advice would be to go for it! Have faith in yourself to go out of your comfort zone and publish your first book. I’m glad I’m published as early in my life as I am, but I could have started years ago if I just had the courage.
My second piece of advice would be to have patience. Take your time in your writing process and take even more time in the editing stage. Lastly, I would say to really focus on marketing your book, especially before your publish date! Try to enjoy the experience without expectations of success, the numbers will come in time. Good Luck!
What did you find most challenging when writing this collection?
This collection seemed to have a lot more moving parts than the first collection, so it was difficult to keep everything organized the way I wanted. The most challenging thing for me when writing any collection is writing the new, exclusive poems for that particular collection. After organizing the poems, I then know where the holes are that need to be filled. For me, it’s a challenge to force myself to write about a particular topic on demand. I also need to write about this topic in a different perspective from all the other poems in my collection to avoid redundancy.
What inspires or motivates you to write poetry?
I was motivated at the young age of 12 to write poetry as a way to express my emotions and release myself from their turmoil. I find inspiration from so many places – my own life, situations my friends and family go through, book and tv show characters, pop culture, and the news. I wish my readers were more aware that not every poem I write is directly about me.
Now that you have two collections, are you playing favorites?
I honestly thought my first creative baby would always hold a special place in my heart. But I am so proud of the progress I’ve made in Where I Ache that it’s won me over. I’m thrilled that the collection is longer and I’ve more than double the amount of exclusive poems. I’m also proud to be writing about such sensitive topics and expanding my reach beyond just love poems. Lastly, I was able to work with my boyfriend on this second collection with him as my illustrator! He saved the day from my chicken scratch doodles haha.
Where I Ache consists of 6 chapters, which one is your favorite?
I feel like saying My Soothing Arms, the self love chapter, would be too cliche and easy so I’m not going to pick that one. Instead, I’ll say My Weak Spine, the insecure/ self esteem chapter, is my favorite. I didn’t think I would be able to write about that topic in so many unique ways. I feel like different readers can all find a little piece of themselves just in that one chapter.
Title: Where I Ache
Author: Megan O’Keeffe
Published: June 10, 2019
Exciting things are happening in the poetry world! I love Lang Leav’s latest collection, Love Looks Pretty On You!
Another one of my favorite poets (and a fellow member of the Order of St. Luke) is Br. Daniel Klawitter!
soft magic is an amazing poetry collection that you don’t want to miss!
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