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Off the Cuffs: Poetry by and about the police – A Review

Posted on September 18th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

Off the Cuffs: Poetry by and about the police Edited by Jackie Sheeler

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

This book includes a wide variety of poems by police officers, witnesses, journalists, bystanders, protesters, victims, perpetrators, and others. It tells the stories of those who have witnessed crimes, who have commited crimes, who’ve worked hard to stop crime. These poems reach out and explain what life in jail is like, what life without Daddy is like when Daddy is sent to jail for something he did wrong. They mention the heartache police officers face every day when they see young children in bad situations, when they are forced to shoot someone to save themselves and others nearby. They share part of the souls of those who were wrongly brutalized by the police, who want justice served. This large collection does not discriminate in any way, shape, or form. It tells police work like it is, the good right along with the bad.

This is a great collection for anyone who enjoys crime literature, or anyone who loves the genre known as Street Lit. or Urban Lit. It’s a gritty telling of the truth, and towards the end, of some people’s dreams which involve the men and women in blue. It shows officers and detectives, not just as the people who wear a uniform and uphold the law, but as the complicated human beings they truly are, just like you and me. Inside, they are no different. They fear, they love, they hate, they cry, mourn, work hard, and try to be the best they can be every day. It’s not always easy. But this book does a great job of portraying all of that through multiple viewpoints. I greatly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it, especially as poetry makes for a quick read. It’s just too bad this book isn’t being printed anymore. I think it should be.  However, you’re in luck, as the BPL has a copy available! So check it out today. You’ll be glad you did.