Can’t Keep Me Down is the latest book from Maranda Russell, who you may know from her blog or the multiple other books she’s written. This is a poetry and short prose chapbook, which isn’t a term I’d ever heard before. So, off to Wikipedia, which says that it’s a form of short book with origins as street literature.
In the introduction, Maranda explains that the book’s intent is to explore determination and perseverance in the face of what life throws at us. It certainly does that very well.
Some of the pieces in the book are on the lighter side, like a short prose piece about how birds can be assholes too. The majority of them, though, venture into darker territory, addressing topics like suicide.
Some of the pieces take a creative and unexpected dark turn, such as a poem about repainting the ceiling that ended up somewhere entirely different, and another called Alive and Kicking that tells the reader what and who she’d kick.
There’s vivid imagery, both dark and lighter, and in case you wondered, Maranda doesn’t wear her uterus like a hat. I’m not a very visual person, but I still found this book stimulated the little visual corner of my mind.
I’ve read a few of Maranda’s books, and I found this one to be the most intense. It gets you thinking beyond the surface level meanings of the pieces. While it’s dark, I didn’t find it depressing; rather, I’d say it’s very evocative, and a great read.
Can’t Keep Me Down is available on Amazon.
You can find Maranda on her blog marandarussell.com
There’s a directory of my other book reviews here, including reviews of some of Maranda’s other books.
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