Reviews & Links

My copy arrived in the mail yesterday. I’d been expecting it to be good: I didn’t know it would great. Having read many of the poems while creating artwork for Dave last month, I already felt very connected to the project.
My review is rather personal and simple. I felt an emotional train arrived right on schedule and delivered me to a magical place, where I could be found crying like a baby. I could not put it down. The poems are universal & accessible, and feel like they were written just for me. I think anyone who picks it up and “gives it go” will feel the same way.

Words do still matter. “The Poetic Heart” seems intentionally written as a bridge between a generational divide unique to today’s culture. I am honored to have been in the background of its creation.
Nicholas Oliver’s hearts, paired with Dave’s poems, shine like sprinkles of brilliance. This book has the weight of a fully realized artistic package.Rene Capone, Capone Fine Arts

It has been about 17 years since I read a book of poems that inspired me and made me feel the emotions inside of myself and a fraction of the author’s emotions. A book to inspire me to write again (something I haven’t done in 23 years). The book arrived and my wife let me know. I had such confidence in this book I told her to go ahead and open it and read some of it. When I got home, she was bursting with compliments and inquiring about more work from Dave. This, naturally, intrigued me and I sat down to read some. I was blown away by the power and emotion of his words. The power to trigger my mind’s imagination to envision the words playing out in an act on stage in my mind. Very few authors have affected me such a way. Dave has awakened an area long in slumber inside of me. For that, I thank him. I congratulate him. This book has inspired me and my wife. A must read. Dave truly has a Poetic Heart! The artist Nicholas did a wonderful job pairing his artwork with Dave’s words. An absolutely fantastic collaboration. Congrats on such an amazing project and we look forward to more! Much love and respect.Daniel & Cali, Famiglia di Acevedo
If you dig poetry as much as I do, you MUST check out Dave Russo’s book, The Poetic Heart. Art by Nicholas Oliver. IT IS THE BOMB! Brilliant, creative, inspiring and a whole whirlwind of emotions encompassing our lives and how they are intertwined in our Universe. I JUST DIG IT…Robin Flanders
I normally don’t do reviews of things/products, but I am making an exception in this case. Why? Because the world needs more art of all kinds. At a time when we are seemingly more divided than in the recent past, having a reminder of how similar we all really are is a beautiful and positive thing.

The Poetic Heart is a book of poetry by David Russo, in collaboration with artist Nicholas Oliver who provided the supplemental interior art. The topics in it vary vastly from parenthood and watching your children age to having a brush with infamy in the form of a tattoo, to coming out of the closet and making love under the stars. Though it is from Russo’s vantage point as an out gay man, there is a universality to what he says. As cliche as it sounds, there really is something in it for everybody. And a lot of it is very powerful. Dealing with alienation and pretending to be something you are not for the acceptance of a group, large or small. We’ve all felt the part of outsider or interloper and have morphed our identities just to be included in a conversation or adventure.

Truthfully, I began reading the book at a local coffee shop and had to put the book down for a bit so as to not having the other patrons wondering why the crazy guy was bawling his eyes out. But the book has a gentle ebb and flow to it and balances intensity of topics well with lighter fare. The language is visceral without being gratuitous and Oliver’s supplemental art pieces provide a nice illustration to accompany certain selections. All of them are based on the theme of the heart but evoke emotions ranging from anguish and desolation to pure, unadulterated joy.

Poetry is always a hard sell, but please, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. It is well worth it.Ross Tallent

The Poetic Heart written up by Long Beach Local News

Click to see our write-up by Eric Gray, LBLN Conrtibutor.