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The Year of No Mistakes: A Collection of Poetry

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Intimate, observant, and unflinchingly honest, The Year of No Mistakes is Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's tribute to the broken heart. Aptowicz's sixth poetry collection chronicles the author's story as she leaves New York City, her home of fourteen years, and bears witness to the unravelling of Aptowicz's decade-long relationship. Along the way, Aptowicz explores love, nostalg Intimate, observant, and unflinchingly honest, The Year of No Mistakes is Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's tribute to the broken heart. Aptowicz's sixth poetry collection chronicles the author's story as she leaves New York City, her home of fourteen years, and bears witness to the unravelling of Aptowicz's decade-long relationship. Along the way, Aptowicz explores love, nostalgia, grief, desire, envy and hope in poems that showcase her emblematic funny and heartbreaking style. Stripped down, open, and intimate, this collection continues Aptowicz's tradition of engaging and auto-biographical work with new favorites like "Op-Ed for the Sad Sack Review," "Not Doing Something Wrong isn't the Same as Doing Something Right," and "December." For a poet already known for her honesty, The Year of No Mistakes shines with brave vulnerability. It is a triumph that will push even the most stubbornly busted heart back into the light.


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Intimate, observant, and unflinchingly honest, The Year of No Mistakes is Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's tribute to the broken heart. Aptowicz's sixth poetry collection chronicles the author's story as she leaves New York City, her home of fourteen years, and bears witness to the unravelling of Aptowicz's decade-long relationship. Along the way, Aptowicz explores love, nostalg Intimate, observant, and unflinchingly honest, The Year of No Mistakes is Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's tribute to the broken heart. Aptowicz's sixth poetry collection chronicles the author's story as she leaves New York City, her home of fourteen years, and bears witness to the unravelling of Aptowicz's decade-long relationship. Along the way, Aptowicz explores love, nostalgia, grief, desire, envy and hope in poems that showcase her emblematic funny and heartbreaking style. Stripped down, open, and intimate, this collection continues Aptowicz's tradition of engaging and auto-biographical work with new favorites like "Op-Ed for the Sad Sack Review," "Not Doing Something Wrong isn't the Same as Doing Something Right," and "December." For a poet already known for her honesty, The Year of No Mistakes shines with brave vulnerability. It is a triumph that will push even the most stubbornly busted heart back into the light.

30 review for The Year of No Mistakes: A Collection of Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    If you're a person in your 20s or 30s, you need to read this. It will help you feel less alone in your pseudo-adult misadventures. The Year of No Mistakes reads like a story in which the protagonist could be anyone you know. The poems drip humor and breathe gentleness. They're deprecating and forgiving, and they speak of a heart that survived the slow burnout of a relationship and all that came after it, emerging admirably with a strong sense of self intact. Cristin's words capture the shape of If you're a person in your 20s or 30s, you need to read this. It will help you feel less alone in your pseudo-adult misadventures. The Year of No Mistakes reads like a story in which the protagonist could be anyone you know. The poems drip humor and breathe gentleness. They're deprecating and forgiving, and they speak of a heart that survived the slow burnout of a relationship and all that came after it, emerging admirably with a strong sense of self intact. Cristin's words capture the shape of so many feelings I've experienced, and they do it with both candid, aching honestly and laugh-out-loud playfulness. I just read it through again for the fourth or fifth time. It's one of my favorite collections!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Donald Armfield

    This collection by Aptowicz was different from her previous. More of life situations with the humor being more real. I really like her style and recommend her if you just stepped into Write Bloody Publishing. It's like a walkthrough for a traveling poet and what one would see. I'll list my favorites. -Manhattan -Brooklyn -West Philly -Trickle Down Economics -Cleave -March -The Closure Hotel Tourist in the Place I Used to Live -The End of It

  3. 5 out of 5

    Edie

    BRB going to buy this for every person I've ever known

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karys McEwen

    I've been getting through a lot of poetry collections lately but this one blew everything else out of the water... incredible writing and so moving!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anne Marie

    The best poet I have come across in some time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Curtis

    (4.5 Stars) The Year of No Mistakes felt effortless and honest. The poems had the perfect amount of distance, introspection, and heart. If you're a writer, you can only hope to write something that feels this natural. My favorites include: * December *Number One With a Bullet *February *33 & 1/3 *Married Men *Op-Ed for The Sad Sack Review, Regarding News of Another Rash of Writer Suicides *After the Break-Up, A Married Friend Tells Me She's Jealous Because of How Boring Her Marriage Can Be

  7. 4 out of 5

    Trey

    This is my second book of hers that I've read. I love her voice: it's both accessible to most readers, but also had levels to it. This collecting chronicles her move with her longtime boyfriends from NYC to Austin and their subsequent breakup. This collection has one of my all-time favorite poems, "Wild Geese: after Mary Oliver" that you should read here: https://wordsfortheyear.com/2015/03/2...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Murphy

    If John is reading this, you told me to read this book like 2 years ago but I finally got around to it and WOW AM I SO HAPPY I DID IT WAS FUCKING AMAZING. Aptowicz gets 5000 stars in my book for writing some honest, brutal, and rad poetry.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ely

    This was a really great collection. There were lots of poems I really connected to, and the ones that I didn't connect to, I still loved. Definitely interested in reading more of Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's work!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    In and out of and in love again. Poetry has rarely hit so close to home for me, and I've been reading and loving poetry all my life. Absolutely worth a read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Diana Richtman

    I really enjoyed this book. All the poems felt individual and yet related at the same time. Wonderful collection.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    2017 Reading Challenge- Read a book from someone else's bookshelf; BookRiot's 2017 ReadHarder Challenge- Read a book published by a micropress I'm not really a huge fan of poetry but this was an exception to my norm. I connected with the themes and found myself enjoying the style and rhythm to the poems. The topics were personal but also relatable and I really felt like I was reading a friend's thoughts. Really well done.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Scott Woods

    There is a bravado that bubbles out of Aptowicz’s work that is not present in this latest collection. This is not a bad thing. The book is her most personal to date, and with this work we discover that not everything in her world is a joke. At the forefront of TYONM are her traditional and always-welcome traits: warm and accessible language, cut with a hip fearlessness in subject matter and form, spread out over many engaging scenarios. And yet, contextualized through an exploration of loss, we There is a bravado that bubbles out of Aptowicz’s work that is not present in this latest collection. This is not a bad thing. The book is her most personal to date, and with this work we discover that not everything in her world is a joke. At the forefront of TYONM are her traditional and always-welcome traits: warm and accessible language, cut with a hip fearlessness in subject matter and form, spread out over many engaging scenarios. And yet, contextualized through an exploration of loss, we are treated to a collection that not only shows you who she is (all her books do that), but what she’s made of. Aptowicz possesses a keen eye for good stories; it is what propels her catalog at large, and certainly her best work. Seeing that eye turned on herself (as opposed to squirrels on crack or lawn gnomes. See? An unassailable imagination!) is something to behold. It is an earnest gut-punch of a book, and stripped of her usual buoyancy, leaves us with one of the most honest collections of art this year. Notable poems include "33 1/3", "Austin", "Married Men" and "Not Doing Something Wrong isn't the Same as Doing Something Right."

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ariadne

    I've heard a lot of great things about Aptowicz over the years, but this was my first time reading her poetry. I'm so glad I picked up this collection. This is a book centering around transitions. Moving away from New York and to Texas (and the amazing sense of place she evokes). The break-down of relationships, as well as the whirlwind passion of new ones. Finding your footing and loosing it all over again. These are poems of heartbreak and also hopefulness, the sorts of words that come from th I've heard a lot of great things about Aptowicz over the years, but this was my first time reading her poetry. I'm so glad I picked up this collection. This is a book centering around transitions. Moving away from New York and to Texas (and the amazing sense of place she evokes). The break-down of relationships, as well as the whirlwind passion of new ones. Finding your footing and loosing it all over again. These are poems of heartbreak and also hopefulness, the sorts of words that come from those times in our lives that seem the most uncertain and vivid. Relatable through and through but never easy nor simplistic. Aptowicz uses an economy of words to snap complex feelings into stark relief.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    The poem that led me to this collection ("December") is still my favorite. Because I swear I lived this, too: When my body had forgotten its purpose, when it just hung off my brainstem like a whipped mule. When my hands only wrote. When my mouth only ate. When my ass sat, my eyes read, when my reflexes were answers to questions we all already knew. Remember how it was then that you slid your hand into me, a fork in the electric toaster of my body. Jesus, where did all these sparks come from?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Madalene

    I loved this book of poetry! The author focuses much on her moves across the country, and walking through cities, along with the more painful parts of having the trailing partner be unemployed, and the resulting breakup. In part, the poems read a little like you are behind the poet's eyes, ala Being John Malkovich. Whether you like a sense of place, relationships, or personal musings, you are likely to enjoy this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    I really enjoyed these poems about love, heartbreak, New York City and Austin, possibly because I have lived in each of them. Particular favorites: "Manhattan," "Your Wife," and "My Tiny God." Nice work, disarmingly simple, assembled from images that turn into ideas before you even have time to notice. Yes, poets are self-absorbed, stubborn, and passionately impractical--but hey, that's what we don't pay them for.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Austen

    Cristin's poems just get better and better. After hearing her perform several at this year's WordXWord festival in Pittsfield, MA, I was all the more excited for the release of this collection, and it did not disappoint. I wonderful walk through time, love, and healing, The Year of No Mistakes is the book that should be mandatory reading for all 18-to-35-year-olds who think they hate poetry.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Of the few Aptowicz collections I've read, this is probably my favorite. It's much more personal than her other work--and less outwardly humorous (there are no squirrels on crack running through Central Park, here)--but it still has the same energy, now filtered through a lens of heartbreak and personal reaffirmation. I loved it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    A. M.

    Devastatingly stripped down poems, vulnerable and self-amused, bare of pretense. Aptowicz drags the reader through the aftermath of a decade-long relationship without artifice or plea, leaving a trail of brutally honest poetry, adept and apt at broadcasting both the deeply personal and utterly universal nature of the broken heart. Immensely recommended.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Loscalzo

    " i searched the word fireworks hoping to send you a picture of the brightest, the most celebratory. But instead, all of the images that came up were photographs of mangled hands." Funny and brutally honest poetry about the complexity of relationships.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I ate this up on one plane ride. Man, Cristin's poetry came to me at just the right time: in the midst of dealing with transition, heartache, and disappointment. As all good poetry does, her poems connected my own hurt to bigger, beautiful words that I couldn't have pieced together myself.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hannah McD

    Poems that are far less simple than they seem on the surface. Cristin's work seamlessly blends emotional weight and humor into relatable, moving verse.

  24. 4 out of 5

    SaraEve

    How we go nowhere and everywhere together.- On Walking In New York City

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cin

    This book made me feel things I had forgotten I had felt. Upon finishing it, I immediately wanted to read it again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    xTx xTx

    love love

  27. 4 out of 5

    Beanne

    favorites: "Crush", "The End of It"

  28. 5 out of 5

    Edmund Davis-Quinn

    Excellent work, look forward to reading more. Wonderful honesty. Wrote my initial review in the comments.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

    Heart-wrenching and beautiful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    LOVED.

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