On that one-way trip to Mars reviewed in Agape Editions

My first book got some love today! Jennifer MacBain-Stephens, herself the author of three poetry collections, reviewed On that one-way trip to Marsin Agape Editions.

Jennifer explains that with the book sectioned into planets in the solar system, reader(s) “quickly realizes how the poems reflect different characteristics of not only planets but people. Each planet possesses a different appearance, has select wants and needs. Each planet holds specific gifts.”

This is something that I wanted to express in the collection. On that one-way trip to Mars didn’t start off in that solar system structure. But slowly as I was piecing the manuscript together, the poems seemed to be broken into chunks of emotion, theme, and voice.

Despite the collection’s title, alluding to an escape, most of Chertock’s words are rooted into the earth, the here and now, the real, the sensual, the fight.

Jennifer also said that “when not in space, Chertock’s poems excel at exploring what lives on the ground,” which I’m so glad to have done even a little bit right. I come from the Earth, so all of my writing is a form of tribute to my home. Even though I’m constantly looking up at the stars, at beyond, I know and love where I come from.

My first book focused on my bone disorder, but was also very ingrained in space and the universe at large. Jennifer writes, “There are doctor visits and tests and pills and pain, but also warrior-like strength and immense love.”

I’m grateful for Jennifer’s thoughtful reflection on my work. You can read the full review here.


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