Paper Bones

Poetry - General
114 Pages
Reviewed on 05/26/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Sherry Rentschler's poetry has appeared online and in print. She's a previous Assistant Editor, Amateur Poetry Journal (online), and a newspaper photojournalist. She lived in Italy, traveling around Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Greenland.

Among her hobbies are all things vampire, plus dragon collecting, photographing trees, and dancing with faeries. She loves old movies, reading urban and gothic fantasies, fine wine, and consuming rich, dark chocolate. Sherry is a retired USAF veteran and currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, also a retired USAF veteran.

This is Sherry's first poetry collection.

PAPER BONES is a 2014 National Indie Excellence Book Award (NIEA) Finalist, plus a 2013 Best Cover Award Gold Medal Winner from AUTHORSdB.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tania Staley for Readers' Favorite

Every once in a while, a book of poetry comes into my possession that forces me to share it with others, whether they consider themselves poetry readers or not. Sherry Rentschler’s book, Paper Bones, is one of these books. As I read her poems, I wanted to share them, if only to hear them said aloud. In her introduction to the collection, Rentschler states, “I don’t know if I will ever call myself a true poet,” but I will do it for her. She is a poet in the truest sense of the word. Someone who sees the world in a new light and shares their insights with the melody of their words.

Her poems have the ability to both enchant and haunt the reader. Rentschler’s poems take on often clichéd poetic topics, such as love, loss, and depression, and explore them in new and profound ways, sharing her perceptions of these experiences with honesty and creativity. For example, in her poem “Love’s Last Stand,” one of my personal favorites in the collection, she equates the act of falling in love with a game of poker, with the love interest playing a gambler who has never been beaten and the potential suitor playing the adversary simply trying to win one hand. Like many of the poems in her collection, this one is clever and whimsical, yet at the same time shines a glaring light upon the serious issues of the topic. In this poem’s case, the games we play in love. Paper Bones is an excellent poetry collection that I will recommend to all the poetry readers in my life. I highly recommend it for both scholars of poetry and those just beginning to explore the art form. I truly hope that this is not the last I will read from this outstanding poet.

Anne McLaurin

Sherry captures both heart and imagination as she offers warmth and entertainment with her poetry. A collection to be read and reread. I would recommend this book to poetry lovers and to those who may not realize they are poetry lovers.

Sherry Rentschler

I'm completely surprised and overwhelmed, but delighted to receive such a wonderful honor. No one could wish for more than to be able to touch a reader and leave a favorable impression (or etch a memory on a bone!).

I would like to thank my reviewer, Ms. Tania Staley for her time and for delving deeper into my work. I am very honored that she looked beyond the surface and put words to the more subtle messages. Thank you!

Richard L. Weatherly

The poet and writer of Paper Bones, Sherry Rentschler, offers contemporary poetry in a refreshing style. Don’t expect a rehash of Shakespearean, French or Italian forms. What you will find is a comprehensive collection of snippets taken from the broad spectrum of life. These poems express the full panoply of poetic possibilities. You will read poems that lift you emotionally, while others lead your emotions in the opposite direction.

Readers have come to expect the effective use of poetic devices such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, contrast and comparison, hyperbole and onomatopoeia. You will find all of these and more.

Enjoy the best of life and read about some of the worst. Enjoy the ride from despair to elation. Sherry Rentschler is an excellent poet, and I highly recommend Paper Bones!

Mary Deal

Paper Bones by Sherry Rentschler, rests on the end table where I sit to relax. I have delved deeply into her poetry over the years and again with Paper Bones being published. Her poetry has the potential to pull us into its depths, remove our cares, and replaces them with surprising feelings and emotions to remind us who we are, and even shows us our places in society as a whole.

I have read this book thru several times now and find new insights with each read. Sherry's writings are thought-provoking and, at times, presents in-your-face reality. A few samplings: "Unsolved Miseries" defines the hopelessness of an old man accompanied by the laughter of his child and we realize we are both. In few succinct words and phrases, "Dust of Me" exposes aspects of ourselves through defining Frustration, Love, Hate, Lust, and Emotions. The poem "Paper Bones" agrees with the writer in me because it defines the fleeting yet true realities of writing and publishing in today's cyber world.

In the composite of Paper Bones, Sherry Rentschler defines both human frailties and glories and helps us see ourselves and others in a more compassionate and often times humorous way. Accompanied by pictures and images throughout, Paper Bones is refreshing and thought-provoking. This book would seem a quick read but you will get caught up in the meanings of the writings which will make you pause and think. I can't recommend this book, Paper Bones, and its author, Sherry Rentschler, highly enough.


I am no poetry expert. I have friends who write poetry that slips off their tongues so elegantly that all I can do is envy them, but I've never been too great at writing it. Or judging it, for that matter (sometimes deeper meaning just flies over my head!).

However, I know what it is like to enjoy poetry. And I enjoyed Sherry Rentschler's poetry immensely.

First of all, I read this collection of poems in a single day. In less than eight hours, including going to school, celebrating my dad's birthday, and catching up on Korean dramas. And I never read poetry that quickly. So, if anything, the speed at which I finished Sherry's book is a testament to how engaging it is.

Second, my favorite thing about these poems is that Sherry does not waste words. At all. Oftentimes I find myself bored by poetry because the poems I'm reading waste time with pretty language and whatnot. I can pick out parts that are pointless. But in Sherry's poems, every single solitary word gives new meaning to the poem. She doesn't ramble, doesn't waste any time. She says what needs to be said, and what she means to say, and I am so thankful for and awed by that.

Third, I don't think I've ever, in my entire life, gotten so many chills while reading a book of poems. Ordinarily, one or two in a collection stick out to me as the "best" or the "most enjoyable," but with this book, every single time I think, "yes, this is my favorite poem!" I turn the page and a new poem takes that number one spot. I'm thrilled by every poem, and every picture, in this book, and that is so amazing! All through the day, when I had to stop reading and do work or sing Happy Birthday, it physically pained me to mark my spot and set the book down. I'm not exactly sure how I got so attached to these poems, but I did. And I think that is wonderful.

All in all, I really, thoroughly enjoyed these poems. I laughed, I teared up (in the middle of band, when they were playing "When You Wish Upon a Star" and I was reading "The Flip Side"), I held my breath, and my heart raced. It was a marvelous experience, and one that will probably be repeated again and again each time I read this fantastic work.

Logan Hedges

I am far from a lover of poetry....I have always preferred one liners myself to long stemmed reading "Paper Bones" I discovered that it isn't that I don't like poetry but rather that I hated having to write it for a class or instructor. Sherry does an amazing job of capturing even a difficult audience such as myself. I've never touched a book of poetry before that I was able to hold onto and not put down as if it were a breathtaking novel...well...not until now.

Thank you Sherry for sharing your talent with the rest of us.

This book would be a welcome addition on the shelf of anyone that loves to read.

Diane Duyk

I love Sherry's sense of humor! I've heard it said before that if you find one recipe in a cookbook that you really enjoy, that alone made the buy worthwhile. I've found this to be true of poetry as well. However, it's a true treat when you find poetry books that offer many more poems that you really enjoy and find yourself reading over and over. Such is the case with Sherry's new book, Paper Bones. Enjoy!

P.J. LaRue

Paper Bones by Sherry Rentschler is proof that poetry is not a dead language or bygone art form.

As I read her book, I felt emotions slice through my soul. She moves lyrically from hate and indifference to love, and then from despair to hope. While this book has reflections on domestic violence, it also covers love, the loss of a close friend and so much more. It’s a dance of words and emotions choreographed from a lifetime of experiences. The poetry also shows that abuse is not just for the lower class or the uneducated. She proves to be well spoken and well read, but her meaning is still understood if one isn’t as well educated. You won’t miss her point when she draws her pen across the pages.

Two of my favorite poems were “Call 1-888-784-2433″ and “Peanut Butter and Blood Sandwiches.” They appealed to me for personal reasons I cannot disclose without revealing her punch lines at the ends of the poems. But my absolute favorite was “Repechage!” and alongside that, I adored “Love’s Last Stand.” They sever the haze of abuse and leave one knowing that hope is stronger than hurt, bruises fade and given the right circumstances love will prevail.

Ms. Rentschler’s book is a finalist in the 2014 Readers Favorite International Book Awards. If I were on the panel, this book would win hands down!