Book Reviews

Harnessing Darkness Review

Harnessing Darkness:

Expressing Mental Illness Through Poetry

By Caleb Woods

Independently published


128 pages

$ 5.61 Paperback

ISBN: 978-0-578-53146-5

Book reviewed by Kavita Khajuria

With recurrent themes of anguish and torture, ‘Harnessing Darkness’ conveys the relentless chase and weight – of despair, the world, and of emotional, psychological and physiological distress. Effects of life altering experiences include dissolution into the abyss, internal disconnect, intrusive ruminations and fragmentation – along with artistic expressions of loss and love. One can feel the vulnerability and sense the internal conflict, along with tortured mental states, panic and indecision. Anticipations of release and suicidal fantasies ensue. A sense of being flooded, broken and weighed down are countered with momentary tributes and glimpses into the privacy and safety of nature. Triggering effects of social media translate as striking and timely. Other themes include self injurious behaviors, worth and legacy. A select list of mental health resources are included.