Smiling Again: Expressions Through Poetry
by James E. Tincher

"She reaches up to grab the sun to put it in her pocket, but her arm can
reach only as far as it can reach."

The work of a kind heart, Tincher’s poems sing with the somber truth of one who has suffered, endured, and, finally, transcended. He’s a man who has long lived under the shadow of depression and fought back against suicidal thoughts. In his darkness, he took solace in writing, and the results of his exploration and understanding are what fill the pages of this collection of poetry.

Tincher’s straightforward honesty is conveyed beautifully in his frank and sober use of words and rhythm. He grounds his poems in everyday experiences, with everyday language, but adds just enough imagery and complexity to convey the emotional turmoil one experiences when under the sway of a deep depression. The poems deliberately lack an organizational system and are meant to mirror the scattered and unpredictable nature of a mind infiltrated by depression or bipolar disorder—a choice reminiscent of the often chaotic nature of a person’s mind when suffering from mental illness. And yet there is humor and hope within this solemn mind. It is his ability to blend honesty with gratitude that humbles both poet and reader in their experience of the day-to-day trenches of life.

Tenderness reveals itself in the author’s sincerity and desire to help others who may be suffering as well. His insight into and compassion for what life with depression is like is one of the biggest strengths of the book and lends his poetry depth and intrigue. A skilled communicator, Tincher delivers his words with a gentle strength and soft touch; nothing is overwrought nor heavy-handed. Everything is an echo, a voice that wants nothing more than to speak the truth that no one is alone in this often troubling world.

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