A Review of “My Sober Little Moon” by Jon Lupin, The Poetry Bandit (Review written by Liz Newman)

My Sober Little Moon” by Jon Lupin aka “The Poetry Bandit” is a poetry collection that delves into topics such as alcoholism, love,  family, and hope. It is a beautifully honest take on what it means to be battling drugs or alcohol and how the author was able to find healing and overcome his addiction. 

I was deeply moved by so many pieces in this book, but I will do my best to condense my list for the purpose of this review. The first poem, “Inkling”, sets the tone perfectly for the collection.


“It was suffocating, and intoxicating, and I needed to go deeper, every time. And it drove me mad. How to find a way out? A voice reverberated in the dense fog of my mind. Ink. I needed ink. Ink, ink, and more ink.”

The author sites writing as a key component to his personal recovery several times throughout the collection. His writing is eloquent and soulful, raw and emotional. He writes in such a humble and honest matter, a truly down-to-earth wordsmith. 

I love how the author describes different aspects of his healing journey and how they impacted his life. In the title poem, “My Sober Little Moon”, Lupin writes:

“…So beat me, bind me, berate me, break me, but never believe that I will hate you in return, because I have seen the kind face of forgiveness on this dark side of my sober little moon.”

I think it’s beautiful how in the midst of his struggles, he so often discusses the forgiveness he has been shown, and the people who stood by his side as he battled his inner demons.

Throughout the collection, you can feel how conflicted the author is with the war raging on in his head. But, he finds peace in the hearts and the presence of his loved ones.

In “Gnarled Knuckles”, Lupin writes:

“But I have learned since, there is something greater than myself worth fighting against and that is the thought of my children hearing the hiss and pop of those wooden puppet limbs and thinking I’ve given up, so until then, I bare my knotted, gnarled knuckles and fight this demon until I’m ready to tell them why their daddy doesn’t drink at dinner.”

This piece was such a beautiful description of his struggle and how his family becomes a symbol of hope and a motivator for change. 

There are so many pieces that are an ode to his children, and the illustrations are a lovely addition to the book; they transcend seamlessly into the words of the poems within. I found myself excitedly on the hunt for the next page that would have a bear so I could see the transformation from the previous picture. It was a perfect complement to the words and the underlying themes.

The writer does such a superb job of describing the changing dynamics of his relationships in the midst of his struggles. In “Quiet Symphony”, he writes:

“His addiction was a noisy gong, and her voice was never loud enough.”

He addresses how addiction can often be a large and unrelenting force that is raging against all the other aspects of your life. In the poem “Build A Better Man”, Lupin writes about his wife’s strength and states:

“I don’t want her skin touched by the pen of the world, but she assures me even though it’s too late for that, she will be alright. Her skin is not like mine; ‘It’s thicker’, she says with a smile.” 

I think what I loved most about this collection was the author’s knack for captivating story-telling in such a transparent and raw way. There are so many people that can relate to his experiences, whether with alcoholism, anxiety, love, heartbreak, or helplessness. The poems had an eloquence and elegance to them, and they all flowed seamlessly into one another. The collection felt well executed and was successful both in telling the author’s story and helping us all reflect on our own stories.

I would like to finish this review with an excerpt from one of my favorite poems from the collection,

“Worth”:  “I want this relentless awareness meant to wear me down, make me admit that I am ready. I am ready to live a life worth celebrating.”

May we all live a life worth celebrating, a life kissed by grace and acceptance of our past and our present. “My Sober Little Moon” is a must-read and a must-have for your personal poetry collection. 



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