The Review Board

Where Honesty Never Ends.

Truth Unleashed on L___: A poetic study of relationships


L___ : A poetic study of relationships
(Poetry anthology)
Dane Swan (editor and coordinator)

Greetings everyone!  The Review Board is here to share our thoughts on L___: A poetic study of relationships, presented to us by the editor.

First up, Mini Truth:


In all truth, I have mixed thoughts about this book. The bad part is that the bad outweighed the good.

However, before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you a little bit about it.

“L___: A poetic study of relationships” is basically a compilation of several poems, thoughts, images, short stories and the like that are all combined by a single thread. Relationships.

Here we find a combination of love, loss, hate, passion, randomness and everything and anything in between.

In actuality this is a book that can be considered to range from “Oh I get it” to “What the hell was I just reading” but that is the point. I understood this very well.

In all truth, the premise was very attractive to me which is why I was glad at the idea of delving into it. As a lover of poetry and the arts, the basis of this book, at first glance, was incredibly attractive to me. As I surmise that it would be to anyone who shares my interests.


Nevertheless, upon opening the book and diving into it, my excitement was quickly sedated. The book turned out not to be what I would have hoped it was. My desire was to bask in a written museum, if you will. But I was let down.

Following you’ll find my thoughts on the work. I will divide my impression in bullets of pros and cons:



  • I enjoyed the idea of the work. I was really attracted to the original theme and the fact that this work surpassed your ordinary “love” themed poetry book.
  • I enjoyed the originality of the title.
  • There were a few stand out pieces that I actually enjoyed. They are the following:
  1. Wess Ryan’s “If I were the earth”
  2. Cathy Petch’s “Soundly Sleepless”
  3. Lisa Young’s “The New Maple”
  4. Banoo Zan’s “Assimilation”
  • I also enjoyed that many different poets, artists and writers contributed to the work.



  • As I was reading through it, I couldn’t help but feel that it was put together sloppily and in a rush. It felt, read and looked like a simple “Cut & Paste” work that one would do on his or her computer.
  • There was a significant amount of editing that was needed. I realize that certain poets write in a specific style, and I respect that very much. I’ve even heard of poets that write solely in lowercase lettering. I get that. I really do, but I was looking beyond artistic style and noticing lots of flaws in syntax.
  • There were way too many of the works that I felt were just unattractive in both delivery and composition. Including and not limited to one specific work that was referring to a single member of a dog’s anatomy.
  • Due to the poor construction of the works, I found myself often times reading in an ambulatory state. As a matter of fact a lot of the works I just could not mentally process (not due to the meaning of the work, but the delivery) yet, I did not care enough to read it again.
  • Also, I think that there should have been divided into “type of content”. For example, there should have been a section dedicated only to poems, another for short stories, and another for art work. As you flip through the pages there is no rhyme or reason to the organization of the book.

Conclusion:  All in all, I was not impressed or pleased with the way this book was put together and I feel as though it gave the contributors a huge injustice as many of these works had great potential. I truly think that this book calls for a complete revamp.

Verdict: 5 out of 10 TRB Stars



Now let’s go to the Unleashed one.


Unleashed Speaks

I have to address this from two minds:

(1) A poetic mind (writer and fan of poetry)
(2) An outsider mind (reader)



Poetic wise, I can appreciate the construct and the adaptation of this project.  It exudes eccentricity and ranges of thought that are quite admirable.  There were quite a few poets who had me from the beginning of their stanzas to the very last syllable (particularly Dianne Robinson, Cathy Perch, and Wes Ryan).  Yet there were others whose works I would have to really stop, let the lines fully soak, but found myself reading them again to see if I missed something.  Whether it was intentional or not was very hard to say for sure.  I also liked the images sprinkled within the works: the brash blends of colors within each of the displayed works of art.



Now let me tackle an outsider’s perspective.  From the sense of someone being drawn in by the premise and deciding to check out the contents.

This work was presented to The Review Board by the editor and coordinator of the collection.  I wonder if he was given permission to do any alterations in reference to any of the works.  In some places, the spacing and candor were well done and my eyes were pleased with the wonderful relationship between print and white space.  In other areas, it was as if the work was copied and pasted in.

On the inside, a lot of the following can be seen:

  • Lack of capitalization
  • Lack of or nonexistent periods
  • Indecisive stanza separation
  • Indentation in strange areas

The poetic side of me recognizes that the majority of this is primarily style.  Yet I have to address whether the reader will automatically pick up on that.  In most instances, the reader may not.

One contributor to the collection used periods to substitute for the apostrophe marks.  Although my eyes and brain were able to adapt quickly, it would be fallacy on my end to assume others would automatically do the same and that it wouldn’t get annoying after a while.



For people who are sticklers to clear indicators of pause in thought, the sporadic (or no) use of certain punctuation marks (such as a period) may give the works a rushed feel to the reader.  It’s like wave after wave being crashed against someone and that person not being given a chance to take extra breaths.

The method might get a pass for the first few pieces.   However if a reader gets bombarded with this style continuously, it can serve to be a bit overwhelming.  This rough take (free flow effect) could potentially dampen the overall enjoyment of the book. The reader may be looking for a collection where he can identify with each work without it being a testament to excessive deciphering. Even, fighting the urge to try to determine which forms of conveyance are intentional versus those which are clearly faux paus.

In addition, readers who are fans of sentence structure could be baffled how in one poem, there’s no capitalization used (like with the word “I”) or clear stanza separation, yet another work by that very same writer could include structural correctness.  If this work’s target audience is an open one, then some areas of connectivity in appearance would be welcomed.

The Verdict:  After taking all things into consideration, I give L___: A poetic study of relationships a 6.5 out of 10 TRB Stars.


The show’s not over yet.  Let’s add these numbers and divide by two, shall we?


Overall TRB gives this work a 6 out of 10 TRB stars (5.75 rounded to 6 if one wants to be technical).

Thanks for checking out The Review Board.  Feel free to like, share and subscribe.  Have a wonderful day!


About nolabels

I have an appreciation for the unique, love for all types of art, and fierce attractions to brilliant intellectuals (from book smarts to street smarts). Lover of humanity but feel humans have lost their way, just trying to stay true to myself as conformity threatens to take me away. Simply one head, many crowns: Author. Reviewer. Columnist.

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2014 by in April, e-books, reviews and tagged , , , .

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