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A Review of The Beautiful Ugliness of Being by Joe Maldonado

Joe Maldonado’s collection, The Beautiful Ugliness of Being, is a raw and deeply introspective exploration of the human experience. Through a series of thought-provoking and emotionally charged poems, Maldonado delves into the complexities of life, celebrating the diversity and dynamism of existence.

The rawness of Maldonado’s writing is evident from the opening lines, as he captures the visceral sensations of life: The body buzzing electric, the rush of blood, and the rhythm of breath. These vivid descriptions create a sensory experience for the reader, immersing them in the intensity of being alive.

Throughout the collection, Maldonado fearlessly examines the depths of human emotions, unafraid to confront pain, sorrow, and vulnerability. His words are a cathartic release, laying bare the raw essence of the human soul. He explores themes of love, loss, identity, and the fragility of existence, inviting readers to journey with him through the highs and lows of the human condition.

Maldonado’s poetry is not confined by traditional rules or expectations. It breaks free from the chains of structure, allowing emotions to flow freely and authentically. This lack of constraint gives his writing an unrestrained and spontaneous quality, making it all the more powerful in its ability to evoke raw emotions in the reader.

The Beautiful Ugliness of Being is a testament to the power of vulnerability and self-expression. Maldonado’s unfiltered and honest approach to his craft creates an intimate connection with readers, as they recognize their own struggles and triumphs reflected in his words. It is through this vulnerability that Maldonado is able to uncover the universal truths that bind us all.

In his exploration of the beautiful ugliness of existence, Maldonado embraces the imperfections and complexities of life. He celebrates the power of difference, reminding us that it is in our diversity that true beauty is found. Each poem is a raw and unapologetic expression of the human experience, inviting readers to confront their own fears, hopes, and dreams.

The Beautiful Ugliness of Being is a captivating and deeply moving collection of poetry that captures the essence of what it means to be human. Maldonado’s fearless exploration of emotions, his rejection of conventions, and his celebration of diversity create a powerful and unforgettable reading experience. This collection is a testament to the enduring power of poetry to illuminate the beauty and depth of the human experience.



  1. Ordering this from Amazon. Can't wait to read it before I give it to a friend who needs it!! Thanks!!


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