Book Review: Go Within or Go Without, by Patricia Herreen

An anthology of verse offering comfort to those who have lost faith and seeds of encouragement to move us through adversity.

It is incredibly brave when an author is able to reach within themselves and write something so personal.

There is something magical about reading poetry and being able to viscerally engage with the written word in a way that only an author can accomplish. It is also incredibly brave when an author is able to reach within themselves and write something so personal on the page and leave it there for all to see, which is exactly what Patricia Herreen has done. From the opening of Infancy, you are allowed to feel what she feels and transcend yourself, right up until the closing of Evolution.

Whilst I admit that poetry is not for everyone, I think most readers can agree that well-written poetry can evoke feelings in even the hardest of writing’s critics. Herreen is no exception. With an artist’s eye, she has made the written word tangible and bared some hard truths that only she could have put to paper.

The entirety of the book is laid as a journey to self-discovery, adding to the writing magnificently. She deals with some very hard-hitting topics such as domestic violence, beautifullyThere is something freeing in the way she writes of her ability to love herself and be set free of her experiences however, a warning is needed for those who may be triggered by reading such a personal account.

Perhaps my biggest criticism, if it can be called that, is that the writing flows well but is presented in a disjointed manner thanks to the size of the book, the typeface and the graphics that match the writing. The saving grace is that the pages are not cramped and the writing is still the focus but there is a missed opportunity to tell more of the story with the pages and their layout.

A brilliant and engaging first book from Herreen, I am looking forward to seeing more from the accomplished artist. I would highly recommend for anyone looking to support local artists and authors, who enjoys the artistry of poetry, and would especially recommend it to anyone looking to try something new. If poetry isn’t your thing, though, then that’s okay too.

Reviewed by Zoe Butler
Twitter: @Zoe_Rambles

Distributed by: Self-published
Released: December 2018
RRP: $20

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