ABOUT THE BOOK: In a collection based in self-exploration and realization, Kaniecki takes on issues of mental illness, abuse, and religious actualization. Kaniecki's usage of imagery and theme express a relatable yet unique story of discovery, failure, and hope. The reader is taken on a journey through childhood experiences, growing pains, finding love and Christ, and living with the aftermath of mental illness. This hard look at mental health offers a critique of the current system while expressing hope for a brighter future.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.
MY REVIEW: (3 1/2 out of 5) Starting off this book of poetry I was unsure how I was going to feel about it. I am not the biggest fan of verse or poetry and often find it hard to focus on the authors intended meaning or message. In other words, I want to know exactly what the author is referring to in the poem and often, poets create multiple meanings or purposively muddle their meaning. In Kaniecki’s book Polishing the Fragments, it’s not hard to know what he means and what struggles he has faced reading his poems. Each of the 132 poems felt like a new story each bringing the reader closer to whatever mystery the author wants his readers to uncover. I have to say, there are a few poems that were so vivid and relatable that I found myself mouthing certain verses over again as to memorize them. Kaniecki uses his own faith to find his way through the mental illness he faces, and his journey is as encouraging as it is desperate. Now, I would not necessarily go back and read the book again and I know that is just my own bias against poetry, but I am certainly glad that I was able to at least once. I would recommend this book to anyone I know who may be facing any of the same issues such as gambling addiction, or depression. Overall, this book was a surprisingly easy read and an enjoyable one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Kaniecki was born in Brooklyn, New York. Though having no memories of life there, John is proud to be called a Native New Yorker. John was raised in Pequanock Township, New Jersey. At age twenty John was baptized and became a member of the Church of Christ. Presently John resides in Montclair, NJ and lives with his wife of over twelve years Sylvia. The happy couple attend the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue in Newark, NJ. John is very active in outreach and teaching as part of the leadership of the congregation.