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"dropkick this broken heart and make it feel again."

From pro-wrestler-turned-poet Cyrus Parker comes a poetic memoir that tells the tale of two relationships. The first half of DROPKICKromance focuses on a toxic, long-distance relationship the author was involved in for several years, while the second half focuses on Parker's current relationship with poet Amanda Lovelace, who penned a beautiful foreword for the book. This collection takes you by hand and brings you on a journey through first love, heartbreak, and learning to love again.

176 pages, Paperback

Published March 6, 2018

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About the author

Parker Lee

5 books239 followers
Parker Lee [they/she] is a non-binary trans woman poet and storyteller, as well as the author of multiple collections of poetry, including their latest, coffee days whiskey nights. Hailing from a small coastal town in New Jersey alongside wife and poetess amanda lovelace―as well as their three cats―Parker can almost always be found at home, not writing when they should be, drinking too much coffee, and pretending their kitchen is their favorite café.

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5 stars
452 (39%)
4 stars
378 (33%)
3 stars
203 (17%)
2 stars
87 (7%)
1 star
22 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 234 reviews
Profile Image for Silvia .
642 reviews1,427 followers
January 9, 2018
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

TW: abuse by a partner

This is a poetry debut I was highly anticipating and I wasn't disappointed.

I don't really know how to rate and especially how to review modern poetry other than by gut feeling, and this collection/memoir was so honest and raw that I couldn't help but empathize with the author and what he went through. No matter who you are or what medium you use, it takes courage to open up as much as he did, especially when it comes to the first part of the collection.


The story begins while the author is in an abusive relationship with a woman and through his poems he describes all the phases they went through and how he was constantly made to feel like he was not enough and he still hoped that everything would fix itself.


He clang to the happy moments and the promises that this woman made, he kept forgiving her for the things she did and putting up a strong facade for the rest of the world while he worked as a pro wrestler.


I also think at least part of the relationship (if not all) happened long-distance, and a few poems also touch on that aspect.

After many years he finally managed to leave her for good, and as with all relationships ending his world was completely changed, plus he came to fully realize how much this woman had abused him and his feelings. At some point during this fase, he met the now-poetess Amanda Lovelace and they fell in love, and the rest of the collection is about the initial part of their relationship.


Reading this second part was cathartic because although it's by no means says that "love fixes everything", it does describe that, through a healthy relationship, they both managed to face their demons, together or on their own, but always supporting each other and being open about everything.



I don't really want to judge the style of this kinds of poems because I feel like it's not my place, besides I think they manage to get to the point and they're powerful that way and more accessible to anyone. I did find that a few were a little too simple, but overall it was a great and honest collection.
Profile Image for Dianna ☾midnight reads☽.
430 reviews330 followers
January 25, 2018
Watch out Faudet-Leav, Lovelace and Parker will kick your butts.
ARC provided by Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review
when words
are the only interaction
you have with someone,

you have no choice
but to get to know them
for what's on the inside.
- how is this any less real?

DROPKICKromance was surprisingly really good! Cyrus Parker has this raw and honest voice that will lure you in and will make you want to stay and just hear his words. This book exceeded my expectations and although it's quite simplistic, there's just something that makes this book stand out from the rest of the books in its genre.

Although the book does not have divisions that separated the themes of the poems like in The Last Time I'll Write About You, the contents flowed really well and were expertly sewn together the seams felt invisible. The poems present two relationships: one, that was toxic and abusive and the other, a respectful and fulfilling one. You can clearly see how the poems connected the past and the present feelings of the author and presented itself as this one, big journey of love and self-discovery.

Amanda Lovelace and Cyrus Parker is definitely a team to be reckoned with. In my opinion, Michael Faudet and Lang Leav have nothing on this husband and wife team. They're both exceptionally good and produces unique pieces that will surely be a hit.

I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Katie McNelly.
47 reviews37 followers
January 5, 2018
Excellent first read of 2018. Of all the poetry I've read recently, and especially the poetry of this style, during this new "insta-poetry" movement, Parker's is the strongest. His use of language is profound; though this does very much feel like a debut collection, and Parker's voice and conflicts are those of a young man, he spins metaphors and similes alike with skill and ease. Many of his comparisons caught my breath as I thought, "How? How did he?"

It helps that my favorite types of stories are young males coming of age. I've written of this bizarre inclination before (I think it takes its roots in the Faulkner novels I started out with), and this collection nestles into that very love. Parker's bildungsroman is personal, deep, and above all, relatable. I hope many give this collection a chance and feel the same admiration I do. This deserves to be in the hands of all readers.
Profile Image for Kalena W.
652 reviews303 followers
November 26, 2020
4.5/5 stars, the book poems made me happy

"lets build
bookshelves together
and fill them
with our story
-ours will always be my favorite"

I know lots of people don't like modern poetry, and I can see why when lots of us have grown up feeding on the old ancient poetries. Those are filled with emotion, ideas, pictures, and meanings, but so are these modern ones. I find modern poetry easier to read and write being a poet myself, and this one was no exception.

This one is simple, more simple than I would have expected, but it's still a story that many of us can relate to. Later in the poems, he talks about how he loves reading the books his girlfriend reads because then he can fall in love with the characters she does and see her in them. And I thought that was beautiful.

Nothing groundbreaking in my soul but it still made me happy and felt like I was connected with more people, and a bigger idea. Heartbreak and love are something we can all relate to, and this was a great poem collection of that.
Profile Image for Alicia Cook.
Author 10 books402 followers
March 21, 2018
There are a lot of highly successful male poets out there right now selling thousands of poetry books. They all have one thing in common: they write from the female perspective, for females. They tell us how we feel, what we need, what we're thinking...I am not a fan of this because I think they are profiting off of attempting to control our narrative while simultaneously romanticizing mental illness, "brokenness," and more times than not, they refer to us as "girls" instead of women (etc.) which makes me feel like they are infantilizing us, in a way to establish dominance.

There are so many talented women writers out there who can speak directly from their own unique experiences - why so many people are purchasing books with their hard earned money by dudes that speak in bland platitudes is beyond me. Just my opinion.

That opinion is one of the reasons I respect Cryus Parker's work. Parker is not speaking for women, and I don't think he is writing in the hopes of garnering thousands of women fans. He's telling how two women changed HIS life (one for worse, one for better), not the other way around. Parker's book is not pages and pages of trying to read a woman's mind and put it down on paper. Parker is telling HIS story. And that was a welcomed change from what I have been seeing out there.

Parker is not afraid to be vulnerable - and he is a very supportive peer. I am fortunate to know him IRL, too. But even if I didn't - I very well may have still submitted the same exact review. He represents a hopeful tipping of the scales in regards to what we should support.
Profile Image for Stephanie Gillespie.
376 reviews179 followers
March 7, 2018
You can see my full review on my blog: https://betweenfoldedpages.wordpress....

I cannot explain how much I LOVED this poetry collection !!! I was reading it while in the waiting room at my doctor's office, trying to fight back tears. The tears won by the way, all these strangers were looking at me but I didn't care. Cyrus put so much emotion into his writing. You can feel all the pain and heartache he endures in the beginning. The first half of the book tells the story of an abusive long distance relationship. His words are beautiful and you could tell he put a lot of himself into this book. The second half of the book was about his wife Amanda, who is the Author of  The Princess Saves herself in this one. Knowing this section was about her, made the connection I felt to the poems all the more powerful. Amanda wrote a the forward to the book and it was so touching. Cyrus and Amanda are such a loving and inspirational couple, they are also very nice people!!

This is a poetry collection about the path of healing, the journey to self discovery, and love. Cyrus writes with raw honesty, that makes his book stand out from other collections.I honestly can't wait for more book's from him in the future, he is definitely a favorite poet of mine. Pick up a copy of this book, I promise you wont be disappointed.
Profile Image for Marina.
923 reviews167 followers
December 28, 2017
Cyrus has a beautifully honest voice. His poetry flows and his feelings and passions are clear as he tells us about his pain and heartbreak and later his healing and love. I always have trouble rating such things because it feels like I'm rating a person's life, which just doesn't feel right. But I do want to say that Cyrus's writing is elegant, the story he tells is both heartbreaking and beautiful, and each poem transitions beautifully into the next. If you are a fan of modern free-flow poetry, I would definitely recommend reading this book.
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,393 followers
January 11, 2018
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to review this eARC

i have no words???
my heart was breaking at how relatable this was
i was in a long distance relationship for ten months and it was healthy, at all. similar to the first relationship in this book. this hit all those feels and oh my gosh. i’m yet to find a love like the author did but i hope to one day.
full review to come maybe??
maybe not
just read this folks
Profile Image for Olivia (Stories For Coffee).
610 reviews5,654 followers
March 5, 2018
Actual Rating: 4.5 ✨

A wondrous look at two relationships through the use of poetry. I am so proud of Cyrus for all he's accomplished and am so honored to have gotten a peek into his life through the use of his beautifully crafted words that really spoke to me.
Profile Image for Chanel.
321 reviews19 followers
January 7, 2018
I received this as an ARC on Netgalley. I always try to read the poetry that is offered there because I like to support poets in many ways.

I wasn't aware ahead of time that Cyrus Parker is married to Amanda Lovelace, author of "The Princess Saves Herself in This One." The styles are identical across both works, structurally and thematically. I wasn't a huge fan of that book or that style of poetry, but I know many other people are right now.

This poet is culturally relevant and playing up to the style of the times, which I know many readers will be happy to read. Just not for me.
Profile Image for Lucie.
395 reviews78 followers
January 21, 2018
Thank you Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

2017 was the year I discovered poetry, and in 2018 nothing seems to stop me from reading new poetry collections.
I discovered Cyrus' book only recently through Amanda Lovelace's Twitter, and ever since I only had one thought: read it. So when I found out you could request a copy of it, I jumped on the occasion.

The book starts with a few words written my Amanda, and she said something that followed me throughout my whole reading. She said “he is so talented a weaver of words that when he aches, you will ache, when he falls, you fall”. And that's exactly how I felt. You can feel every raw emotion when you read a poem, and it's not an easy task.

This collection of poems is clearly divided into two parts: the before and the after Amanda. There is no particular need for anything to notice it. From poems about abuse and an unhealthy relationship, you go to poems about meeting Amanda and the beginning of a healthy relationship that allows him to start healing.

This is Cyrus' first book, and I honestly hope he won't stop writing because his words reached me like very few manage to. So until the next one, I will definitely stay on the lookout for any news on an upcoming book.
Profile Image for Molly.
1,202 reviews52 followers
January 19, 2018
I wasn't sure what to expect going in to this, but the idea of a professional wrestler writing poetry was too interesting for me to resist. Parker's verses definitely reflect some of the work of his wife, Amanda Lovelace, but manage to remain his own. He's got some great allusions and turns of phrase, and in this case the simplicity of language serves him really, really well. The journey from a bad relationship full of hurt and mistrust to a new, healthy one is a familiar story and probably biased me a bit toward enjoying this collection. Despite that possibility, it's a book I will revisit again in the future.
Profile Image for Sophie.
358 reviews71 followers
January 2, 2018
Absolutely beautiful. The structure of how everything written has a purpose and really amplifies it, making it so the reader can really understand what type of emotions are on the page.
Profile Image for Courtney Zaccardi (Gower).
158 reviews8 followers
March 2, 2018
this was pure magic. I’ve never felt my own experiences so vividly like I did in this collection. the words struck me deeply and brought up feelings that have been dormant for some time. each detail was purposeful and well planned. the formatting of each poem being on the left or right side of the page, depending who it was about, was my absolute favorite detail. the little nods to amanda lovelace’s work was cute and appreciated by me as a fan.
Profile Image for Barbara.
372 reviews27 followers
August 31, 2018
I've been looking forward to this book, and I'm so glad I wasn't disappointed. This was one of the most beautiful poetry books I've read so far.

The first part talks about his previous relationship with a woman. Which was an abusive and toxic relationship, from what I understood also a long distance relationship. Before moving to the bad parts of it, he talks about how he fell in love with this women. Then he moves on to how he realized it was toxic, how for some time he didn't care and finally how he managed to end it all for good. This part is also filled with self-hatred he felt back then, which was from my understanding partly caused by this woman, but I'd say he was also insecure way before her. (I think this due to some poems written before he started writing out the relationship)

The second part talks about him meeting Amanda Lovelace, them falling in love and their general progress through relationship all the way to marriage. The second part, also, talks how he embraced himself and his demons, and how Amanda helped him through that journey and saved him.

This was such an honest poetry book, full of love, heartbreak, self-hatred but also self-love. Cyrus has such a good way with words, I felt it all. I fell in love, I was angry, I was sad, I fell out of love, I was heartbroken and I fell in love again. All of this in one book, and all of this because of his word and how he managed to put them in poems that absolutely took my breath away.
Profile Image for K.Y. Robinson.
Author 6 books334 followers
April 10, 2019
Meeting Cyrus and witnessing the love he shares with his spouse Amanda made me experience the collection more intimately. I began tearing up from the first poem. The collection tenderly describes the end of a toxic relationship and the blossoming of a magical one. It honestly felt like a fairytale. Amanda was right when she stated that Cyrus was a "talented weaver of words...when he aches, you will ache." I ached. I ached indeed and it was so good.
Profile Image for Sissel.
148 reviews101 followers
January 5, 2020
*ARC received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I wasn't such a fan of this work, I have started to realize that this kind of poetry isn't something that I "get." I could feel the honesty in the poems and I felt the overarching theme was clearly visible, but for me it didn't invoke any feelings.
Profile Image for Gretchen Gomez.
Author 3 books150 followers
December 21, 2017
from drowning in a dark sea of lost love to swimming with a mermaid filled with hope, honesty, and a love that will never sink, DROPKICKromance wrestles with heartbreak and will win you over with poems of self-discovery, healing, and the fairytale ending you've always wanted to read.
Profile Image for pi.
215 reviews42 followers
January 1, 2018
DROPKICKromance was one of my most anticipated books of 2018 and it really met my expectations!

This poetry collection tells the story of a boy who endured a toxic relationship for way too long. It's hard to read because it's a story of heartbreak and it resonates. However, it also talks about healing, about learning to love and value yourself. Throughout his poems, Cyrus Parker presents a journey from a harmful relationship to a healthy one, from dishonesty and pain to trust and respect, from lies and illusions to true, sincere love.

The second part of the book is my favourite, of course, and I think that every fan of 'the princess saves herself in this one' will really appreciate reading it, because it tells the other side of the story that Lovelace writes in her book, and it's really beautiful.

*I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Eliza.
545 reviews13 followers
January 11, 2018
As someone dealing with a crisis of love (a.k.a recently single and facing the existential futility of trying to maintain a connection with someone other than myself) this book was a beacon of hope. That love can exist outside and inside of internal hurt. The poem if love wants me, it knows where to find me spoke to me and I felt the truth in those words. That poems represents one of the hardest lessons learnt from (good/bad) romance. I've learnt that lesson but it's a message of reconciliation with myself to see in words. This collection is one of rebirth and romance. It shoots for the hearts and hits it's mark. Whilst the beginning felt weak or was a little difficult to get into, I ended up losing myself in Parker's truth. It's a collection that is hard not to fall into. I look forward to future collections.
Profile Image for Krissy.
511 reviews1 follower
January 12, 2018
A beautiful poetry collection about love lost, and love found. I really liked that the second half of this is about the woman that wrote "The Princess Saves Herself in this One." I've read that poetry collection and just knowing the connection was really cool. Almost every page of this book had something beautiful written on it. I certainly enjoyed reading it.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
408 reviews67 followers
February 5, 2020
I love this poetry collection and I will definitely read more of Cyrus Parker's work.
Profile Image for Ava.
266 reviews311 followers
December 28, 2017
This is a wonderful collection of poems from one of my favorite people on Twitter. It has the ability to resonate with every reader, a talent that I so admire. It's in turns heartwrenching and heartwarming, and tells the other half of the love story from the bestselling poetry collection THE PRINCESS SAVES HERSELF IN THIS ONE. When this book releases in March, I highly, highly recommend you pick it up.
Profile Image for Chris.
Author 1 book74 followers
January 23, 2018
It’s hard and feels strangely wrong to critique poetry.

As a poet I know the personal and deep intricate soulful detail that go into a piece. I find it, then, quite twisted to “review” a poetry collection.

This, though, I wanted to just write about a little.

Cyrus Parker lets his tears and his heart fall onto page after page as he exorcises demons and finds solace. It’s a personal description of a journey, and brings a hope to it’s darkness.

Profile Image for Sophia Hanson.
Author 8 books416 followers
March 10, 2018
A lovely debut from an even lovelier human.

Even knowing Cyrus as a friend, I had no idea what to expect diving into his debut collection of poetry. What I found was a flowing narrative that resonated with me deeply. With simple elegant language, he gave us a glimpse into the rise and fall of a toxic relationship, and of course the blossoming of his relationship with Amanda. Nods to The Princess Saves Herself in This One present throughout, but DROPKICKromance stands on its own.

I think the most compelling thing about this collection was how relatable it was. By that I do not mean that it was cliche. Rather, I think almost anyone who has been in love can find a piece of themselves and their relationships within its pages.

The modern poetry community is dominated by women, which is wonderful in its way as we have long struggled to find a place where our voices are heard. With that said, I think there are a lot of boys out there who want to see themselves represented in poetry. I could easily see DROPKICKromance resonating with them, which is a wonderful thing.
Profile Image for Elvina Zafril.
537 reviews87 followers
January 3, 2020
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Never thought that I would like this poetry book. Parker’s writing style is what I adored. He is very skilled in using the metaphors and similes. I loved the comparison he made and all the words he chose to use are beautiful.

Reading the poems made me feel like they were all real and it made me feel sad and I can relate with some of them. How can he write beautiful poems with those beautiful words?

There are two types of relationships in this book. The abusive relationship and the respectful one. When I read about the abusive relationship poems I felt so much hurt (maybe because I can relate to most of them). However, I imagined the beauty of respectful relationships when I read the fulfilling one. The present and past feelings in relationship all are connected and I loved that this book focuses more on self discovery.

I hope other readers find this book beautiful and give it a chance to read. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Amber ☾♥.
219 reviews65 followers
July 6, 2020
It’s very hard for me to put a “rating” on poetry. It’s feels similar to rating someone’s life story in a lot of cases—this being one of them.

My rating isn’t based on the story that was told with these poems. That in itself was beautiful and hit home multiple times. Love and heartbreak are two things that the majority of us have experienced and it was very easy to fall into his pain and/or absolute “high” of love.

It’s more so based on the fact that it, at times, felt a little forced in the way certain things were written and I also couldn’t tell much difference between this collection and one of Amanda Lovelace’s (through which I’ve really only skimmed).

I know a younger me would have felt differently because this is exactly the type of poetry I enjoyed and tried to write (badly, may I add...). Older me seems to be a little harsher of a judge.
Profile Image for smritika.
35 reviews
August 25, 2020
I dislike contemporary poetry so much that I think I have begun to like disliking them. That's the only possible explanation I have as to why I keep reading them.

This book was surprisingly decent though.
Cyrus Parker is married to Amanda Lovelace, whose poetry book I've already read. So it felt like I was thirdwheeling them while they wrote poetry to each other.
All in all, it was just fine.
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