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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Exposed by Dr. Deborah Jean Burris-Kitchen Ph.D. is a mixed-media book that contains the original poems, short stories, and perspective of the author, with black and white photography by Dr. Heidi M. Williams. The themes vary within the context of social awareness and are broken down into three separate but distinct chapters. Chapter one, Love and Respect, is particularly family focused in which the author writes about relationships, both fictional and real, between both friends and family. Chapter two, Women’s Victimization, Empowerment, and Freedom, revolves around sexism and violence against those who identify as women, as well as sexualization and grooming. Chapter three, Poems of Protest and Change, is about activism at all levels.
Dr. Deborah Jean Burris-Kitchen displays a profound honesty in the work she presents, opening up what can only be attributed to the wounds and healing of personal experience. It takes a great deal of courage to share this type of information and I applaud her desire to do so. I was partial to the poetry, with A Seat at the Table being the standout for me. It speaks of a narcissistic, manipulative man who uses wealth and power only to empower himself and abuse others. In my mind, I had a perfect picture of who this may be, but the beauty of poetry is that someone else might see in it another who is closer to home. The short stories were a little too narrative-dense and hampered the pacing, and the font used on the letters and some other pieces makes them difficult to read. The contemplative photography by Dr. Heidi M. Williams in crisp black and white, together with Burris-Kitchen's exceptional verse, makes Exposed an easy five-star read.