Happenings, Heartbeats, and Mental Breakdowns: Poems

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About the author:
M. B. Manthe was born and raised in Massachusetts. She dropped out of high school when she turned sixteen, and began working in a local hospital. After earning her GED, she attended Community College of Rhode Island, then transferred to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She graduated in 1995 with a B.A. in English Language and Literature. She spent two years at the University of Arizona, completing her Master's degree in Library Science in December 1997. She lives in Topeka, Kansas, with her husband, two teenage sons, one dog, two cats, over 1000 books, and never enough time to read as much as she'd like.

Happenings, Heartbeats, and Mental Breakdowns: Poems

Authored by M. B. Manthe

Sometimes I think summer has its own
pattern after all, some weirdly repeated

series of actions, happenings, heartbeats,
and mental breakdowns.

These are the first lines of “Road Work,” the poem that opens this collection and sets the tone for the rest of the book. The poems are personal, emotional, and sometimes confessional, but Manthe always strives to engage readers’ minds as well as their hearts. Many of the poems reflect the author’s lifelong struggle with depression, and others who have experienced the isolation that often comes with mental illness might find a little comfort and a sense of familiarity in these pages.

There are lighter moments, too: follow the nervous driver of “Nighttime on 95,” enjoy a snack of “Apples and Hot Chocolate,” and watch the speaker become first enamored, then annoyed, with a guy named Phil in “A Slice of Otto B.” From adolescence, and the joys and pains of young love, to marriage, motherhood, and the deaths of her parents, Manthe’s poems explore what it feels like to be constantly buffeted by the forces and stresses of everyday life, when she’d rather be lost in a book.

In addition to approximately 50 poems, the book contains a short essay entitled “Losing Everything but Our Appetites,” which Manthe wrote following her father's death.

Publication Date:
0996962700 / 9780996962704
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Poetry / Women Authors

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