#Book Review: PIVOT

Debbie Richard Reading PIVOT at the Parkersburg & Wood County Library

Debbie Richard is a fellow author published by Adelaide Books, New York. She graciously provided me with some photographs to personalize this review.

My Review:

Click image to purchase book from Amazon.

Debbie Richard’s poetry collection PIVOT takes as its theme those human moments of recognition that come from connection to place, the passage of time, loss, regret, joy, and renewal–and in a clear, direct voice calls us to be mindful of them all. I took care to read these poems late at night, when the house was quiet, and I could linger over my favorite lines and reflect on what these words had to tell me:

“There’s a place in the country / where a little white church once stood.”

“I caught your gentle fingertips, / No–it was only a small piece of debris,”

“the wind chimes on the veranda / as they rattle in the breeze,”

“How I miss those days, working together in the kitchen, / Mama and daughter, side by side.”

Other standout moments in the collection were the last line of “Changed”; drinking cold, clear water from a mountain spring as a spiritual act in “Incessant”; and several poems of rhymed verse that reminded me of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses and the pleasure and comfort I took from being read to as a child by my father.

Also of note were Ashley Teets’ soft-focused drawings that served as a counterpoint to the poems at key points in the collection. The drawings evoking sense of place were my favorites.

What I appreciated most about reading the poems in PIVOT was their accessibility, which, for me as a reader, represents a true generosity of spirit on the part of the poet. These poems invite the reader in: Come, share this moment with me; let your experience speak to mine.

“The Years between the Dashes” ends with the question, “It’s my life’s legacy–did you notice?” The life’s legacy of a poet is the poems she leaves behind, along with the readers she has touched in ways both small and profound, readers who will urge others to experience these poems themselves, to be touched and moved in their own ways. PIVOT is such a legacy, and yes, I did notice.

Rose of Sharon
Inspiration for “A Place”
Inspiration for “To My Mother”
Inspiration for “Unrestrained”

43 thoughts on “#Book Review: PIVOT

  1. Nice review, Liz! “There’s a place in the country / where a little white church once stood.” is a fantastic line, it conjures up a clear image that can invoke a whole range of emotions.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah Liz, I know that white church – not that one exactly but one just like it. I went there as a child with my grandparents,usually during our summertime visits. Every seat had a fan for use in the hot prairie afternoons. I do love poets and poetry – they challenge, console, and remind us that memories are alive within us to be awakened.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad the white church awakened memories of attending church with your grandparents, Rebecca. Now that you mention it, the churches of my childhood were always cooler inside than outside in the summer. And musty.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The little white church seems to resonate with a lot of people. There’s a little white church on an out crop of land overlooking the sea on the east cape of New Zealand that sprang to mind as i read those lines. Nice post. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  4. And this post “represents a true generosity of spirit on the part of the” reviewer! Nice piece, and the collection sounds lovely. The photos add much as well; thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your comment, Mark! “Take me there” poetry is a good way to describe PIVOT. In fact, reading it has made me want to seek out more Appalachian writing. Debbie has a prose memoir that I really need to read.

      Liked by 1 person

Thank you for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.