|(Thank you to the publisher and Poetic Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
Vulnerable, beautiful and ultimately life-affirming, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz’s work reaches new heights in her revelatory seventh collection of poetry. Continuing in her tradition of engaging autobiographical work, How to Love the Empty Air explores what happens when the impossible becomes real―for better and for worse. Aptowicz’s journey to find happiness and home in her ever-shifting world sees her struggling in cities throughout America. When her luck changes―in love and in life―she can’t help but “tell the sun / tell the fields / tell the huge Texas sky…. / tell myself again and again until I believe it.” However, the upward trajectory of this new life is rocked by the sudden death of the poet’s mother. In the year that follows, Aptowicz battles the silencing power of grief with intimate poems burnished by loss and a hard-won humor, capturing the dance that all newly grieving must do between everyday living and the desire “to elope with this grief, / who is not your enemy, / this grief who maybe now is your best friend. / This grief, who is your husband, / the thing you curl into every night, / falling asleep in its arms…” As in her award-winning The Year of No Mistakes, Aptowicz counts her losses and her blessings, knowing how despite it all, life “ripples boundless, like electricity, like joy / like… laughter, irresistible and bright, / an impossible thing to contain.”
How to Love the Empty Air brilliantly illuminates why we read poetry, and why poetry is needed. We read it to see another person’s unique experience, but also to help us clarify our own. And we read it to reassure ourselves that what we experience and feel it part of a larger human drama that we all share. Cristin reminds readers how huge, life-shifting events are totally unique and personal—and yet, they are also universal.
Wow. Just wow.
Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz' book of poems titled, How to Love the Empty Air, is absolutely amazing. It is filled with beautiful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable poetry. Every second I spent with this book was pure bliss. I am a lover of words and a lover of poetry. This book was seriously one of the best books of poetry I've read in ages. It was thoughtful, engaging, and emotional. The poems were extraordinary in their ability to capture the essence of grief and loss so authentically and realistically.
I can see myself reading this book again and again; highlighting, memorizing, and writing these poems down in my journal. This book will sit on my shelf for years to come and I will pick it up when I need to be reminded of the universal nature of grief and loss. Aptowicz is a must-read poet. She creates emotions and truths with her words in such a relatable manner, you can't help but connect with her poetry. I would definitely recommend this book to her fans and to poetry lovers looking for a new book of poems to fall in love with.
Here's the link to the Poetic Book Tours schedule for: How to Love the Empty Air