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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.

 width=Cracked Open
by Megan O’Keeffe

Pub­li­ca­tion Date: April 16th 2018

Paper­back; 110 Pages

Genre: Poet­ry


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.

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My Review

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.

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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.

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