I received a copy of Courtney LeBlanc’s Beautiful & Full of Monsters for review purposes. As always, this review reflects only my honest thoughts on the book.
Beautiful & Full of Monsters
by Courtney LeBlanc
Publication Date: 10 March 2020
Publisher: Vegetarian Alcoholic Press
Paperback; 72 Pages
Love isn’t always pretty, yet most of us choose to remain constant in its pursuit. These poems unwrap the mythos of romance with the clairvoyance of a writer who knows the best and worst of relationships inside and out. LeBlanc dares to honestly show us how even when the best of intentions fail, we can always find beauty if we stay true to the monsters in ourselves.
I can say with remarkable certainty that, no matter what I’ve read of Courtney LeBlanc’s work, I haven’t been disappointed. Like her chapbook, All in the Family, Beautiful & Full of Monsters did not disappoint.
Before this review went live, I posted a simple preview to Goodreads: “Wow. A phenomenal collection!” Now, as I write this more detailed overview of my experience reading this collection (twice!), I’d summarise my feelings in the same way. This is an absolutely phenomenal collection.
Beautiful & Full of Monsters tackles love in all its forms, embracing both beauty and beast. The poems in this collection take scenes from seascapes to sleepless nights and infuse them with feeling—both in emotional connection and a powerful sense of tactile touch. This is a collection that demands to be felt as you read it and insists on staying with you, whether through subsequent rereads or the feeling of the words, both beautiful and monstrous, that stay with you long after you’ve returned this book to your shelf.
I, for one, am confident I’ll be returning to Beautiful & Full of Monsters over time. Reading through these pages, I found myself taking on the speaker’s role like a part in a play, even as I took in the moments as an onlooker. That’s the power of this collection: you may find yourself imagining what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat or read through these poems like you’d watch a film. Either way, there’s no doubt that this is a book that will stay with you.
With her next collection, Exquisite Bloody, Beating Heart, coming soon, we can look forward to even more incredible work by a gifted poet. And, if her work so far is any indication, there’s no doubt it will be yet another remarkable addition to your TBR.
About the Author
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of full length poetry collections, Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press) and Exquisite Bloody, Beating Heart (forthcoming, Riot in Your Throat) and chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press), and The Violence Within (Flutter Press). She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos.