Actual Rating: 4
*Thank you to the author for a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review!*
I’m a picky poetry reader. To be honest, it was really the cover art that made me want to read the book. In An EveryDay Thing, the author Nancy Richardson tackles a very difficult topic: the personal and political consequences of the Kent State shooting.
I have to admit; I was very ignorant about this event, but it seems surprisingly relevant to our current socio-political situation.
Without a doubt, the author succeeded in capturing the gut-wrenching emotion that I could only ever imagine. My favorite poem in the book is titled “Fear.” It is a poem addressing the pain in the aftermath of Kent State. At the same time, there is anger, frustration, and a very powerful sort of defiance, all in a few lines.
Another thing to mention is that there are several poems that focus more on the culture of Ohio itself, about the rural way of life. These moments are calming, yet profound, and I found that it made the book as a whole much more cohesive and realistic, creating a delicate balance between positive and negative.
At first, I wasn’t sure the writing style would be my thing. It is written in a way that reflects prose, but with line breaks in atypical places. I’ve personally been a bigger fan of fragmentation and visual manipulation in poetry. As the book continued, however, the author indeed did experiment with the latter and with different styles of writing, and I liked how this changed the pacing of the book slightly in a way that reflected what was happening.
Overall, I really enjoyed this poetry book, especially because of the way it tells an event with historical, social, and political context. I actually learned a lot, but the emotion that the author was able to create was a large part of the reading experience. I would definitely recommend this, as it’s not your everyday poetry book!