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Review by Venus Davis

Book Review: Where I Ache by Megan O’Keeffe

Where I Ache is a poetry collection by Megan O’Keeffe published in 2019. Thematically, the book touches on depression, suicidal thoughts, self hate, and heartache. The book is broken up into six sections: My Foggy Head, My Weak Spine, My Bruised Heart, My Grieving Knees, My Greedy Green Eyes, and My Soothing Arms. Each section includes poems that reflect different parts of the speaker’s journey to finding themselves. There are simple yet effective illustrations by Kevin Furey interwoven throughout the pages. Although every poem in this collection was crafted in a skillful manner, I felt the most touched by the poem, You are Made of Stars and Dreams on page 134.

“You are Made of Stars and Dreams

There’s a fire burning inside of you.

One that the world has tried to put out

because they cannot understand

what is foreign to them.

But it’s filled to the brim with hope and dreams

waiting to burst out of you like fireworks.

It bleeds stars and milky ways

others have only dreamed of.”

As the book went on and Megan’s poems became more hopeful and positive and self loving, felt that the journey of the speaker in these poems became more prevalent. I loved reading the poems that featured a more emotionally broken narrator but I especially appreciated being able to connect with someone’s journey through recovery. I believe that often poems get labeled as “sad” or “happy” but this book was versatile in providing the reader with a glimpse into heartache and joy in every sense of the words.

In Megan O’Keeffe’s honesty through poetry, I felt seen in a way that I never have before. This book felt like a gift from a close friend. This collection is a hand reaching out to hold the hand of anyone who has ever dealt with grief, depression, heartache, and the massive love for yourself that builds from going to hell and back. If you have ever felt like no one else feels the way that you do, please give this collection a read with discretion. Although I personally found it helpful, there is a trigger warning at the beginning for potential readers. So, please do read carefully. Get your copy of Megan O’Keeffe’s Where I Ache here: .

Venus Davis is a 20-year-old nonbinary writer from Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently a poetry reader for Random Sample Review. Venus is also working on writing a poetry chapbook inspired by astrology. Follow their twitter for more memes, rants, and the occasional poem: @venusbeanus.   

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