I'm reading this book with a yellow Sharpie in my hand. Every time I highlight my new favorite line, I move to the next page and another poem explodes in full color.
Cynthia Atkins paints such vivid imagery, and her words form memory circles around my heart. When I read the poems in this stunning collection, I feel like the poet and I have led parallel lives. And yet we've never met in person.
How can you not love a line like this?: "We piled in the paneled Station Wagon holding tight to our dream pillows."
Or this one: "Because years have proven that each death leads to song."
Cynthia Atkins' poems pull you right in. She doesn't hold you at arms' length - push you away with too many words that leave you scratching your head (like some poets do) - she embraces you with her easily accessible, conversational tone that makes you feel at home in her words. Even if that home is not always the sanest place at times.
You don't have to be a poetry snob to enjoy "In the Event of Full Disclosure." I highly recommend it.
Kathleen M. Rodgers award-winning author of "The Final Salute"
"In The Event of Full Disclosure" moved me gently through the entire spectrum of my emotions, laughter then tears, even anger sometimes at the way our culture reacts to mental illness. Cynthia Atkins bravely explores what it is like to experience family members who suffer and struggle. The situations that she describes in a sometimes clever humorous way are universal, often seeming to peek into my own uncomfortable life. A powerful wordsmith she drops nuclear bombs of lines like few can in contemporary poetry. Here are som of my favorites:
"Because the trees grew into paper for words to write down what there are no words for."
"My sister taught me how to shave my legs, little slits of blood left like a lunchbox in the mud."
"One day you'll be a dead Gothic princess,
waiting for a graveyard kiss."
"Polished black and empty- as a dead man's shoes-"
Most of all "In The Event of Full Disclosure" made me feel. It made me feel a little less alone, and a little more in the community of mankind.
These poems are confessional in subject matter, lyrical in presentation, raw, rich, simple and complex. They are also intensely beautiful poems open to the world at large -- to grasp and grab onto, so that this mess of a world might glimpse its own worth. When a book such as this is written, I can only express my deepest thanks to the poet. I look forward to Cynthia Atkins next collection.
Lisa Thayer says: I have had the pleasure to see and hear Cynthia Atkins read her unforgettable poems in the flesh. She makes you tingle at the edge of your seat, wanting more, waiting for the next gold nugget she has mined in the dark caves of mental illness and harsh, sometimes humorous reality. She is a master painter of words, vivid brushstrokes and textures touch the reader in ways that are riveting and enlightening. Her book is a gift, each poem exquisitely crafted with awe-inspiring insight and surprise. A tour-de-force to be reckoned with. Bravo! - L. K. Thayer, creator of The Poetry Juice Bar website.