In a recent The Journal review of Keetje Kuipers' new collection The Keys to the Jail, reviewer Sonja James calls the book "a fresh and audacious look at the darker side of the human condition." The review highlights some of the collection's central themes: relationships, death, and what it means to be a "self." Clearly unafraid to plumb the depths, Kuipers brings readers to places we are often hesitant to explore. "Her imagery is richly fluid and at times startling. With a deft hand, she guides us through poems on love, sexuality, longing, what it means to be a self, and the self in relation to the larger body of humanity." According to the review, the central question of the book is found in the poem "For All the Dead Lovelies": "'How can it be that we live only once?'" This question marks the journey Kuipers embarks on with readers in her new collection. "She then describes our desire to transcend death as 'something/like the foaling of eternity.' For Kuipers, there is no promise of an afterlife." "As a whole, the poems in The Keys to the Jail are bittersweet and tenderly defiant. As art, these poems both estrange and fulfill us. They leave us aching with the desire to overcome the want and sadness of the darker aspects of existence." Read the The Journal review here. The Keys to the Jail is available at the BOA Bookstore.
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