Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rituals” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.53  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In the search for truth, for meaning, for purpose, Black's poetry illuminates the wonder in all of us. With petrifying portrayals of mental institutions, doctors, nurses, Egyptian mythos, all intertwined in a mixture of natural visions and harbors, this collection fortifies our nature to hunt for a life worth living.

The ritualistic aspects are dismal, at best, and speak to
Paperback, 102 pages
Published May 31st 2019 by April Gloaming Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rituals, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rituals

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  38 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Rituals
Rachel Dawn
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. One of the most beautiful books of poetry I have read in a long time. Faith, madness, reality, all combined. What is faith? What are we to believe? How do you show that faith? These poems are all about what you feel.
I enjoyed the artwork as well. Everything fit well into the atmosphere of the poetry. This book may be dark to some, but I personally love the dark.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This collection of poetry featured quite a lot of themes in it:mental health, being in mental institutions,feeling trapped in your own head, war,consequences of war,depression and many,many more. The author has such a unique style of writing, creating an atmospheric experience. All poems were dark,and as you read them you feel like you are drowning and with each poem you go down a little deeper. Don't think I will reread this one,but it will definitely stay with me for the rest of my life.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Rituals, we all need them and use them - sometimes consciously, sometimes not.

In this wonderful collection of poems, Lorcán Black weaves his words on the balance of life and death, love, compassion and obsession, sometimes leaning a bit to one side or the other. He shows the rituals we recognize, wether we knew they were there or not.

His poems gave me the chills, in a good way. They reached my core and will linger there for a long time.

I received a free copy through Netgalley in return for an
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, 2019
I’m new not poetry, but with the books I’ve been reading these few years, I usually feel connected to author themself or with the words, some still resonating in my soul. But this time I didn’t feel it, even tho i really tried. A few of the poems made me feel something, and that plus the beautiful wording is the reason that I’m disappointed in myself for not enjoying it more.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautiful collection of poems mostly about the darker aspects of the mind, with some witchcraft leanings.
Jovana Autumn
ARC Provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Right from the start, I will say that this writer is an educated individual. The poems are written in various forms and deal with a solid amount of topics. Mostly focusing on the darker bits of life.

Topics discussed here are mental illness, alienation, mental hospital care, drugs and the feeling of being misunderstood and alone in the world among the herd.

The poems are pleasing to read because they contain a lot of visual imagery, Onoma
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn’t enjoy this poetry collection at all. It was basically 100 pages of poetry and 97 pages were filler pages to make a book. The poetry wasn’t written very well and it just didn’t make any sense to me with the way the layout was completed. I won’t be reading anything else by this author.
J.D. DeHart
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rituals by Lorcán Black is an arrangement of vivid images and edgy, emotional writing that also grips the reader. I have shared about it gladly on my blog, along with some other poetic titles. Many thanks to the publisher for this digital advance copy.
João Pinho
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
«The window is a void in the wall / I cannot get to.»
Fortunately, he can reach our souls with a touch of delicate words frozen on ice, hot as fire, that take of all of our masks. Cuts deep into the scars, physical and metaphorical. I love the word "Rituals" and fits perfectly this set of poems, filled with fragments of very raw reality. Even if these poems are very subtle they contain a strong melancholic charge. And that's kind clever when the shape is perfect but the deep emotions pop out. Hea
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful poetry. I enjoyed the poems and they were beautiful. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing the arc
Lisa Marie
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
[Thank you to Netgalley for providing the ebook in exchange for an honest review.]
Book 7 for April (poetry month)

I can see why this book would have been very popular and liked by many who read it; but this was just not a book that I seemed to get into. There were a few poems that I found myself liking but the others just felt a little too dark or about items that I normally would not read about.

I did like how this book seemed to be made up of different length of poems which felt nice compared t
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
"To build, you must first destroy."

This is my first poetry book review. I picked this book because the description and the cover intrigued me. The collection explores many themes: war, mental health and illness, self-harm, suicide, love, innocence, drug addictions, constant inner battles, mood swings etc. There is a constant undertone of poignancy and melancholy. Each poem is different in style and length. I loved the fact that they are not monotonous. As mentioned in the description of the book
Areeb Ahmad (Bankrupt_Bookworm)
“You the black shore I have broken away from,
madness a simple tithe.
Blackness forms my oars.”

RATING: 3.75/5

I received a free review copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback. Ever since I started college and began reading poetry extensively, I have always been on the lookout for great collections which leave an indelible mark. When I discovered this on NetGalley, I was immediately smitten by the synopsis and was eager to find out how it used illustrations in ta
Pretty Little Bibliophile
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: modern-poetry
I recently read Rituals by Lorcan Black and I was blown away by his writing. There is an ethereal undertone to all of the poems and it gives a magical effect to the entire narrative. The poet talks on various issues like innocence, religious supremacy, judgmental attitudes, forgiveness, of mental health and illness, suicide and self-harm, of being trapped inside one’s own mind, our changing personalities, war and its effects, gender roles, motherhood and parenthood as a whole, about the unknown, ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I often forget how I enjoy poetry, until I read it again. Each of us interpret a poem off the backs of our own collective experiences. Our pasts help us process what we are reading so we see it through our own eyes. This collection of poems is dark, often sad, and laced with loneliness. A few of the poems I didn't personally connect with. Possibly because I myself haven't had experiences that I can relate back to. But the imagery was strong even when I didn't connect. I particularly enjoyed Tape ...more
Erin Clements
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, poetry
eBook provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I went in to Rituals with the expectation that I would enjoy it. I love poetry, I love the ~aesthetics~ that Rituals has, and I love the subjects Rituals covers. However, I was completely disappointed. None of the poems grabbed me in any capacity. I found myself bored and scanning the pages because nothing was gripping or interesting. It seems like the author had one half-interesting Instagram poem and made an entire book of poems arou
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a quiet little poetry collection. The author describes it as a "strange little book" in the acknowledgements and that's an apt description. The cover intrigued me with its mix of beauty and brokenness, and the poems have the same feeling. This is not a happy collection, but it is beautifully written. None of the poems particularly resonated with me or made me feel strong emotions, but that's not a bad thing. It just didn't click all the way with me. The poet is undoubtedly very gifted, ...more
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this collection in exchange for an honest review, from Netgalley.

Rituals is at times a very dark collection of poems (TWs child abuse, suicidal thoughts, rape) that covers a surprisingly large range of topics, from catholic nuns murdering children to getting lost on a hike during a rainy day.

I much prefer the shorter poems in this collection, as the longer ones were fairly easy to get lost in.

There is a face paced, dark energy that runs through these poems that kept
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was ok
I appreciate poetry that exposes me to a different experience or worldview. Poetry can also be beautiful, challenging and inspiring.

This collection seems self-indulgent and narcissistic. It is also not really interesting to read in terms of poetic rhythm or structure. The author may have found much healing and growth in the process of writing, however, I don't think many other people would find much to linger on. Perhaps I shouldn't speak for others, but this did not resonate with me.

It is self
David Van
Feb 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Lorcan Black's Rituals is a collection of dark poetry, wonderfully illustrated by Tim Durham and published by April Gloaming , an independent Nashville publisher with a keen eye for the Southern Gothic. Rituals opens with an invocation, drawing the reader into a twilit world where time and place shift like fog. I particularly love one of the verses from that opening poem:
These are my ingredients

it begins and ends
with metal on concrete -
a smattering of blood and glass,
a shadow, a whisper
Lely Reads
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I was so excited going into this collection, especially following the first poem, but I felt most of these pieces were too literal for my taste. Very specific events were described in a beautiful fashion, but little was left up to the reader to translate for themself. The illustrations were beautiful, but also very literal depictions of the events rather than seeing the artist's interpretations of the poetry.

Thank you to NetGalley and April Gloaming Publishing for providing me with an ARC of thi
May 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, poetry
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free digital download of this book by NetGallery in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I was disappointed in this volume of work. While I knew some of the writing would be dark due to subject matter, I didn't expect the entire book to be so dismal. The writing style also seemed to evade my perception. I found it to be very rudimentary.

The book itself had a lot of blank/filler pages and could have been condensed.

I don't claim to be a poetry expert, but this on
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a free e-book over NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This poetry collection definitely has more of a classic feel to it. For everyone who likes that more than the shorter modern style, this book will be amazing. I just couldn't get into it and felt no connection to the poems. They were well crafted and I enjoyed, that the book was short and every poem felt like it had a reason to be there and wasn't just filler.

I would recommend it to anyone who likes longer, more lyrical p
Amanda Evans
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely collection of poetry from a talented poet and I really enjoyed reading it. There were different styles and I particularly enjoyed the dark subject matter and how the poet addressed these topics. I loved the witchcraft elements as well. There is a diversity of themes in this poetry collection, everything from mental health, parenting, and much more. I was a pleasure to read and quite a few of the poems left me thinking afterwards.
JAnn Bowers
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! I love the poetic prose and the dark escapades of love, life and fears of every angle one could imagine. This book will forever hold a spot in my mind as what I see and learn of rituals of pain, fear, loss and especially love. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for the kind of read that takes you on every twist and turn of imaginative feelings of metaphors.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Content warning: injury detail, death, blood imagery, gore

I really wanted to get into this collection, but it just fell flat for me. There were some beautiful lines and sections in the book, but I disconnected with the majority of the poems because I was a bit confused as to what the author was conveying? Tbh, it wasn’t really for me overall. The illustrations were very vague and didn’t always connect to the poems.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I really, really wanted to love this poetry book. Rituals is about mental institutions and mythology and the grime of everyday life. And yes, some of the poems are perfectly crafted. Some lines squeeze the breath right out of my body. But overall, many of the poems sprawl for too long, four roman-numeral'd sections to a poem that was boring in the first part.

(Thanks NetGalley for providing me with an advanced readers copy in return for an honest review.)
Mar 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
That poetry wasn’t for me. The them were dark enough and could have possibly please me, but the poetry style, the writing, just felt a bit young, «immature» in a way, don’t know what’s the age of the author, but that’s the feeling it has on me. Reading is always a personal experience and taste and poetry is even more so maybe it would please some reader, but it didn’t please me. Sorry...
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley I received an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
It was hard to focus on reading Rituals but its the same with performing a ritual after all. You daze off but you continue the ritual.
Two or three of the poems strike me like a lightening; Asylum, Aleppo
Liliyana Shadowlyn
Feb 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful poetry and wonderful illustrations combine in this book. It's dark, but deep at the same time, and will make you think. They really hit you in the heart, and you may tear up while reading it. Overall, a great collection. ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Aria Viscera
  • Deaf Republic
  • Felon: Poems
  • Nocturnal
  • Aphrodite Made Me Do It
  • Aprendre a parlar amb les plantes
  • Make Your Own Board Game: Designing, Building, and Playing an Original Tabletop Game
  • The Night Dragon
  • Mending the Mind (Pillow Thoughts, #3)
  • The Other Wife
  • The DIY Guide to Building a Family that Lasts: 12 Tools for Improving Your Home Life
  • The Bare Naked Book
  • To Drink Coffee with a Ghost (Things that Haunt, #2)
  • Life of the Party
  • How to Find the Right Words: A guide to delivering life's most awkward messages
  • Masquerade
  • Between You and These Bones
See similar books…
Lorcán Black is an Irish writer.

His poetry has previously been published in The Rush, Grim & Gilded, Progenitor, New Writing Scotland, Poet Lore, Stirring, Snapdragon, The Connecticut River Review, The Northern New England Review, The Los Angeles Review, The Saint Ann's Review, The Stinging Fly, Apogee, The Chrion Review, The Opiate & Assaracus, amongst many others.

He was formerly founder & Editor

Related Articles

November is Native American Heritage Month in the United States. To join in the celebrations, we’ve sorted through our recent archives to...
489 likes · 176 comments