Reviews

“In Loose Change: Picking Up The Pieces, the raw, unadulterated honesty of the poems usher the reader on a journey through the trials of life. Through direct, lean phrasing, in an elegant structure, this book is a juggernaut of heartbreak, unrequited love, and introspective soul searching. Loose Change is an unflinching examination of turmoil in the human inner landscape.”

-Shaun FitzPatrick (A.K.A Ragged The Poet) Published, Award Winning Poet

“The authenticity of S.Z.’s journey transpires on every page. Her writing is so raw that we feel the betrayal and the heartbreak she’s been through in every word. A 2022 must read.”

-Gabrielle G, Poet & Author of “To The Man I Loved Too Much”

“S.Z. Putnam has weaved a wondrous collection of Poetry and Prose that gently caresses and awakens every emotion of the human experience. Every verse beautifully expressed in a genuine honesty that invades the senses with the kind of vulnerability that draws you in and makes you feel like you are not alone. With every turn of a page, this beautiful collection became a journey; a journey in which I caught a glimpse of my soul in her brilliant piece “The Stone Collector”. This brave collection of Poetry and Prose instantly became a favorite!”

-Tomás Colón, Author of “The Passing of Time” & “The Looking Glass”

“This collection of poetry will open your eyes to the experience of living and loving someone with an addiction. Each of S.Z.’s poems encompass the intense emotions of trauma that is so close to home. Her work is part memoir and part testament to the unconditional and powerful love she has for her partner and her family.”

-Cleo Ashbee, Author of “Birds Before Land”

“She changed the definition of putting it all out there. She takes you on her journey. The honesty she conveys and the passion she has for her story as well as her future is felt in every word. And to think, this is only one part of the amazing woman she is.”

-Joe Steele, Friend & Fellow Poet @joesteele401 on Instagram

“S.Z welcomes the reader on a rollercoaster journey with hands clenched on the bar rail of vulnerability and granular introspection. In this collection she highlights the true meaning behind unconditional love and perseverance while navigating trauma. This book is a manual for healing and a catalyst for change. She is a true advocate, headlining that broken doesn't have to stay broken.”

-Ramon Carty, Poet @ramrock_speaks on Instagram

“In Loose Change: Picking Up the Pieces, S.Z. Putnam is the architect of her story, told artfully through poetry and prose. So many pieces create vivid scenes and emotions on their own, but read together, these works capture the highs and lows of her journey in a way that will no doubt tap into the reader’s own visceral experiences with heartbreak and recompense.”

-Pamela Smith, Poet @poetstale on Instagram

“S.Z. has lent you her voice and a peek into her life in a poetic style. She writes of how addiction has affected her life as well as her family. She shows strength in her ability to overcome the loss of her husband with so many broken promises given. How her parents held strong and stood by her side as this disease tore apart her marriage and family. This is poetry I highly suggest if you would like a look into a life affected by addiction and how to move forward and become a stronger mother and wife.

Written with a rawness that will break your heart yet open your eyes to survival. Sharing her experience takes great strength and I know this book will give hope to others who are still suffering. I am very familiar with addiction and this book has touched my heart and soul.”

-Rebecca Albaugh, Volunteer of 20+ years in addiction as well as a Mother, Grandmother and a Partner with 30 years clean.

“In her debut collection, S.Z. Putnam takes us on a wonderful and encompassing journey, beginning with the first jolts of an electric love, followed by the appearance of fault lines in a crumbling relationship; then moving through loss and hardship, and eventually towards healing. Through her words, we are given a picture of loving through addiction and betrayal and the turmoil of being in love while knowing that sometimes love alone is not enough. All of this is presented with an honesty that cuts right through the page, and she shows us that though the fall to the bottom always hurts, the place where we belong is right back up the mountain, savoring the views along the way.”

-Robert Riichi, Co-Author of “No Man’s Land: An anthology of men’s poetry”

“Take a deep breath and prepare to read through a veil of tears, personable pieces of poetry and prose, where the only winners are the readers. A self-therapeutic telling of loving someone with an addiction.”

-Psalm, Writer @angela_psalm on Instagram

“With ‘Loose Change: Picking up the Pieces’ we are privileged to hear and witness the journey of one poet’s discovery of self healing, and ultimately of hope. S.Z invites us into a turbulent quagmire that in the hands of a lesser writer could become too much to bear, but she has skillfully used form and imagery to lead us into the darkness and back out the other side. This collection is, at heart, a love story, but also far more than that. The all encompassing infatuation that comes across in ‘Nothing’ becomes the heartbreak of ‘Tattooed’, until the bleak realization of ‘I Lost You’ settles in. This could have been the tragic demise of a relationship that ends there, but instead S.Z has allowed us a glimpse into the messy world of addiction and the hard work that recovery involves. ‘The Stone Collector’ is an especially poignant nod to the uphill battle that an addict has to fight for themselves, while the last two chapters ‘Shatter’ and ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ give us particular insights into her own resilience.

It was an honor to read these words in the pre-publishing stage, and even more of an honor to count her a friend.”

-Charlie Thomas, Poet @storm_writing on Instagram

“A raw, visceral and deeply immersive exploration of the impact of addiction on a relationship and a family. Love, betrayal and desperation are delicately counterpoised with hope and the potential for redemption & renewal. A profoundly moving & insightful debut.

-Tash Haigh, Poet @truth.seahorse on Instagram

“S.Z’s words colorfully display the woeful battle that comes with the damage that addiction can bring, but also how the pain can be harnessed and used as clay to mold her poetic journey. The book opens by setting the stage with the way things were and takes you through the levels of discovery, disappointment, internal struggle, and inner strength, brought on by her partner’s battle with substance abuse.

A myriad of brilliant metaphors, similes and rhyme schemes beautifully outlines her strength and vulnerability amidst the tumultuous times she endeavors to learn from.

From the aptly titled “First Time” to the triumphant piece “Worthy,” you will be on the edge of your seat and reaching for the tissues. Her well-crafted word play will have you aching to read more, and in awe of her masterful use of language.

-Kheneil A. Black, Writer @kheneilblack on Instagram

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