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All in the Family

4.69  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Courtney LeBlanc's second chapbook, All in the Family, is a collection of poems that delves into the nuances of relationships within families: good, bad, and truly ugly.

Courtney LeBlanc’s collection, All in the Family, may appear a pastoral still-life of a family, until you notice the author in the painting smirking, or flinching with pain. LeBlanc writes so specifically
Paperback, 31 pages
Published October 2016 by Bottlecap Press (first published August 1st 2016)
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May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting, which means I could easily see the overall arc that this chapbook took, which was rendered effectively. The profiles of each character were drawn as they related to the narrator. The language was beautiful, and I like that these poems tell stories--not all poems do that, but I especially like the poems that do. I also really like that these poems are accessible (again, not all poems are!). Nicely done.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All In The Family by Courtney LeBlanc is a masterpiece of story telling in its shortest form, the poem. Her words reached deep into my heart touching the places where only memories of family reside. In a world where it seems everyone is opposing one another, Courtney’s works show just how much we all have in common. From planting and harvesting a family garden,and sibling relationships to learning to drive and suffering the loss of a parent. Courtney cuts down to the basic lives that we all ...more
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My blurb:

Courtney LeBlanc’s All in the Family gets at the heart of Midwestern stoic yet solidly loving farm family relationships like nothing else I’ve ever read. LeBlanc writes of sisters playing, “our father in the fields the whole time, / his skin baking in the sun like the mud pies / we made” and of a mother who “does the dishes, the laundry, / bakes bread and cookies. / Specializes in hotdishes and crockpot recipes.” Yet underneath, there is always the threat of what lurks both outside and
Jason Hull
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I swear, it seems like I write the exact same review for every one of Ms. LeBlanc's books, but they are all excellent, and All in the Family continues along the vein of quick, but hard-hitting reads. She has redefined my sense of what poetry is and isn't. This isn't the stuff you learned about in high school, with its iambic pentameter and whatnot. I liken reading Ms. LeBlanc's poetry to graduating from the Keystone Light you drank when you were underaged and had to convince your friends to buy ...more
Kyla Houbolt
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
All in the Family is fierce with truth. These poems appear in a chapbook that at first glance is plain as a potato -- appropriate for the Midwestern setting -- and then I notice the scrubbed out faces of the family portrait on the cover. Each poem is like that: at first seeming plain, no fancy footwork, but then the bone deep honesty slides through and by the end, I was finding tears, remembering my own (very different) father, mother, siblings. Love, the pain it can hide, blood and what it ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All in the Family is a commemoration of family: values, connections, and struggle. With this collection of poems Courtney balances a declaration of feelings for her family and tips that scale every which way. Powerfully, the poems recur the elements of hands & blood as a vehicle for everyone's individuality and also everyone's connection.

Courtney mixes her talents with this collection to create poems that are not only powerful but fun to read too. In this vein, The Game His Father Played and
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The poems here ring true, whether they are or not. They tell the stories hiding behind the windows of homes we know (perhaps our own); they are thick with the complications that prefer to stay hidden. The chapbook pulls the curtains away for us to see the way people and families come together and break apart. A good read. I look forward to her next book.
Caitlyn OFlaherty
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Like a farm, a family is constantly in flux. What is a promising crop or a fertile field one year may, the next, lie dead. An early frost, an infestation—the fruits of one’s labor are never guaranteed. In LeBlanc’s latest chap book All in the Family, we are given individual portraits of the members of her Midwestern family through the lens of her relationship with them. Though she narrates her story, she has little control over its characters. She is a child, believing there is magic in a mother ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I received a copy of Courtney LeBlanc’s All in the Family for review purposes. As always, this review reflects only my honest thoughts on the book.*

All in the Family is a portrait of just that–family. Moments between family members aren’t always tender and beautiful; that’s what makes these poems so incredibly powerful. Courtney’s poems consider Mother, Father, Sister, and Daughter in all their imperfection. These connections are intimate, the relationships ultimately personal, and yet the
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
All families are complex and this collection tackles those complications and poignant frailties head on. There is a bittersweet sentiment surrounding Courtney LeBlanc's memoir-esque poetry collection in All In The Family that leaves you indescribably vulnerable. You will feel as though you've walked the hallowed halls of an evolving farmhouse, glanced at photos, saw ghosts of this idyllic childhood, and left knowing you'll never be the same again. LeBlanc's latest poetry collection is deeply ...more
Erica Troy
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In her latest chapbook, All in the Family, Courtney LeBlanc explores the complexities of living in a functioning dysfunctional family. Her poems are filled with such clarity and voice you can't help but feel her pain, joy, anger, sadness and confusion as you read. Courtney challenges the very definition of family by unapologetically putting it all out there - from innocent and beautiful to scary and unknown - and in the process challenges you to observe, unwrap and begin to give voice to the ...more
Oct 03, 2016 added it
What is a family? I think that's the question that's at the heart of this collection of poems, and it's not easy to answer. Like anything real, family is complex, and that's a truth that Courtney LeBlanc reckons with in these poems. Life and relationships in webs, strung together with all the little joys and hurts and pettinesses and tendernesses that are a part of being with other people. Trauma, regret, and redemption; sweet at times without being saccharine; dark at times, but never ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
All In The Family appeals to anyone with a family. Her poems really hit to the heart of the complex in and outs of relationships that make up a family dynamic. I highly recommend this chapbook to anyone who knows what it's like to love and hate your family all at the same time!
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Courtney's voice is strong and witty. She unflinchingly explores family life, delving into difficult relationships with parents, and how siblings grow close. A powerful collection.
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Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the full length poetry collection, Beautiful & Full of Monsters (forthcoming from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press), and The Violence Within (Flutter Press). She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos.

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