"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Erin O'Riordan Reviews “Poisoned Kiss” by Sara Wuertz

Poisoned Kiss  by Sara Wuertz 
Book Blurb: "Author Sara Wuertz has suffered more in her young life than most will in a lifetime: Alcohol. Drugs. Physical abuse. Debilitative disease. Through it all, her poetry has been her outlet for her pain, and her chance at a fresh start. Read this. Be prepared to cry, to laugh, and to cry some more. In the end, be prepared to learn hope. This book will not be forgotten or dismissed."

Publisher: Write2Grow  

Review: The city of New Orleans is no stranger to devastation. Long before Hurricane Katrina, though, the multicultural melting pot that is New Orleans produced its own turbulent literature. From Kate Chopin to Anne Rice, Poppy Z. Brite and Andrew Fox, the books that come out of New Orleans have a flavor as distinctively bittersweet as chicory coffee. They’re as tempting and toxic as a beignet laced with something unsavory. 

Poet Sara Wuertz doesn’t shy away from her city’s literary tradition of mingling exquisite pleasures with tortuous pain. If anything, the life story she recounts in the introduction to her poems could serve as the roadmap to a life of creating angst-ridden verse. She lost the use of her legs to muscular dystrophy, suffered domestic violence at the hands of a girlfriend tellingly named D’Monica (demonic-a) and nearly lost herself to drug abuse. 

Through all this, Sara writes about love, lust and longing. Does the juxtaposition of love and violence seem like a contradiction? Sara is a contradiction. Her writing manages to be both Gothic (another fine Southern tradition) and plainspoken. She combines high-strung emotion with a devastating way of looking at the everyday that makes the smallest, most seemingly mundane detail suddenly seem extraordinary, like a close-up of a horror film prop. 

The result is like a musical collaboration between Melissa Etheridge and Stabbing Westward: think chaotic power chords and skull-and-bones imagery over a core of blunt emotional honesty and a bubbling-to-the-surface eroticism. Sara’s other pop-rock sister-in-arms in P!nk, who also weaves in real pain (and addiction/recovery terminology) among smartypants lyrics over rhythms you can jam to. If books could sing, this one would have a string of Top 10 hits. 

Sara Wuertz calls her debut poetry collection ‘Poisoned Kiss: A Book of Poetry, Pain and Wisdom.’ Published in January 2011 by Write2Grow Press, the book can be purchased from the publisher or through Lulu.com. She may be young, but as this dazzling collection proves, Sara’s had to mature beyond her years.  

Reviewed By:
Erin O'Riordan

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In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.