Michelle Falkoff’s debut novel Playlist for the Dead explores mental illness and the grieving process of those who are left behind when a loved one takes their life. The main character in the book is a teenaged boy named Sam, who is suffering from survivor’s guilt after his best friend Hayden takes his own life. Thanks to a playlist left behind by his buddy, the young man learns more about his friend, as well as how to open up to others.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, February 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Karin Gottshall’s poetry collection The River Won’t Hold You is a heartbreaking look inside the nature of loneliness. With a keen eye, Gottshall uses different poetic structures and language to muse on the nature of sadness and pain. However, even with its dark subject matter, she’s able to give us a respite from the turbulent emotions everyone has felt at some point in their life by bringing such heartache to life with her exquisite words.
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|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, January 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
Casey Renee Kiser’s chapbook And the Moon Said No is a fantastic exploration into the dark side of life. Even though the whimsical cover art gives the collection the look and feel of a children’s book, Kiser allows her readers to become intimately familiar with mental illness and how it can negatively affect relationships. The poet’s words are bold, blunt, and incredibly quirky. While not all of Kiser’s poems rhyme or even flow in a coherent manner, that’s the point—she wants her readers to know what it feels like to suffer from depression and everyone, knows mental illness can’t be packed into neat boxes.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014||No Comments »|
Linda Vigen Phillips’ poetic novel Crazy takes readers on an incredibly poignant journey through one teenager’s struggle with living with a mentally ill parent in the 1960s.
On the outside, Laura is a normal 15-year-old growing up in the ‘60s, but she hides a terrible secret from her friends: her mother suffers from mental illness. To make matters worse, the rest of her family absolutely refuses to discuss the previous breakdowns or erratic behavior. As an adult, Laura is an artist like her mother, but she’s terribly afraid the one day she will become mentally ill and suffer a breakdown. However, art becomes her refuge as Laura learns to come to terms with her mother’s grueling battle with her illness.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, November 11th, 2014||No Comments »|
Kelli Russell Agodon’s Hourglass Museum is a fascinating look at the often-invisible line between poetry and museum art. Many of her best pieces in this collection are inspired by the beautiful artwork that hangs in the halls of her local museums. Agodon uses each one as a metaphor in her poems, balancing her rich inner emotional life against the demands of her outward personal life and the relationships in between.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, May 20th, 2014||No Comments »|