Airs & Voices
$13.95 paper, 74 pages
Winner of the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry, selected by Mark Jarman
Finalist, USABookNews.com Best Books Award
Fresh and original...with a warmth
and good humor that are in short supply nowadays...To
paraphrase...one of the most moving poems in Airs & Voices,
this poetry is "so good. It must have happened
before." And yet it all seems brand new.
— Mark Jarman
An enchanting book...full of fresh sightings,
sure phrasing, and a capacity for giving and taking delight. Paula
Bonnell can also deal subtly with painful or touching things, as in "History
& a House." John Ciardi would be glad so vital a book has received the
prize which bears his name. —
Low-key but full of quirky insights that keep Bonnell's poems fresh and
interesting. "Elegy for an Unlikeable Sister-in-Law" concludes: "Lord, she annoyed us. / But she was ours." "In Praise of Leeks" captures
their "fresh chartreuse / a tendresse of green."
A clear, subtle, witty, and authentic voice...memorable fun with language
[and] one of our best cat-watchers since Christopher Smart...I'm
particularly smitten with "In the Middle of the Air," "Falling Asleep,"
"Reconstituting Paris," "The Faraway Nearby," "The Island," and more.
"The Voices" may be one of the wisest comments on the catastrophe of 9/11 an
American poet has made.
— X. J. Kennedy
While a practicing lawyer, Paula Bonnell began publishing poems in such
places as Southern Poetry Review, Manhattan Poetry Review, and
Rattle. Her first collection, Message, includes
"Eurydice," a sequence chosen by Albert Goldbarth for a Poet Lore
narrative-poetry prize, and "Midwest," read by Garrison Keillor on The
Writer's Almanac. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in
such publications as The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian
Science Monitor, Boston Review, and The New York Times Book
Review. Her awards include poetry prizes from Negative
Capability, Kalliope, and the Chester H. Jones Foundation, as
well as an NEA/PEN Syndicated Fiction prize, and selection by PEN New
England as a Discovery writer. A native of western Pennsylvania who
has lived in Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Massachusetts, she now makes
Boston her home.