White Knuckle is a concise exposé of a severe childhood experience.
Bruce's debut poetry collection, an autobiographical report on the reality of life in a poverty-stricken, drug and violence-fuelled environment, is a gut-wrenching composition of grief, loss, and abandonment at an early age.
This powerful book is brutal, tragic, and moving: an essential read.
"Our scars are a testament
that we arrived at the battle."
White Knuckles allows the reader to dive into the world of childhood trauma and some of the ways it can haunt us later on. Stephen Bruce digs through his personal situations and memories to share a heartbreaking point of view that hits the reader hard. The writing style is brutal and straightforward, leaving no room for sugar-coating or abstract metaphors.
The biggest issue with this collection is the lack of specifics. The poems deal with intense subjects such as abuse, addiction, and neglect, which unfortunately impact many people. Having a more specific and clear message behind each poem would allow for the deeper meaning to come through, and for the reader to understand what sets Mr. Bruce apart from any other survivor of abuse, as it is not apparent what the purpose of each individual poem is. Because of the common theme that connects the collection, some of the poems are repetitive and do not provide new insight or information, which brings White Knuckles down.
The smaller details intertwined in many of the poems were fantastic and greatly added to the collection. More specific imagery and details that are unique and original would greatly aid in reducing the repetitive message and meaning. It is apparent from reading this collection that the writing process was very raw and emotional, as the poems come across as genuinely painful and real experiences. With the addition of more specifics and a clearer meaning behind each individual poem, the White Knuckles would be phenomenal. The passion and simplistic nature of the collection are absolutely fantastic, and make it hard to put down once you start reading it.
White Knuckles is a must-read for anyone who is a fan of Rupi Kaur-style poetry, as well as any survivors or victims of childhood abuse and/or trauma. This collection can help those struggling with similar situations to feel as though they are not alone, and can remain hopeful for the future.
Hi, I'm Amanda! I graduated from Elon University in May with a Bachelor's degree in English, specializing in Creative Writing. I currently work as an online E.S.L. teacher, and love all things English. In my free time, I enjoy reading a variety of books and writing poetry