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In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Words of a Man Who Made his Name" (a poem from Airs & Voices)
is posted on the page for that book on this website. Just click on the book title in the right-hand column.

On Friday evening March 1, 2019

the Trustees of Reservations at the Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts
in conjunction with the New England Poetry Club
will hold a poetry reading -- ADMISSION FREE -- featuring Paula Bonnell, David Miller, and Steve Rapp.

that right now the world's largest, heaviest, and most concrete poetry anthology
is in downtown Boston ?

That's because Boston City Hall has also made itself an annual poetry anthology!

Each spring, in a citywide contest, the City selects poems to be printed on plaques and displayed near the elevators for a year.

This time the plaques are just around the corner from twelve of the elevator bays on eight of its floors.

Near the South Elevators on the Second Floor is "The Sun's Progress" by Paula Bonnell.

Having attended the spring 2018 reading in City Hall to launch this year's "issue"

and also subsequently having taken an elevator tour of the building, I can assure you

that the 18 poems other than this website proprietor's are all well worth reading and are wonderfully varied.

In inviting people to send poems and in selecting from them the City focused on a theme of Diverse Neighborhoods.


For links to more individual poems and two sequences, go to the "In the window" page (by clicking its name above).


What else you can find here:

On this site you can learn more about Paula Bonnell's four collections of poems.
By clicking on their titles, in the sidebar or wherever they are given in blue,
you'll arrive at the pages for each book where you'll find cover images, quotes given for the books.
For Before the Alphabet, there are also some readers' reactions. Some poems from the books can be read through this site.
Below, here on the home page, there's more about Ciardi Prize book Airs & Voices

Also here are links to individual poems -- not in the books -- from online publications,
some of them below on this home page, plus others through links in sidebar (which appears on all pages on this site).

Buy books from the author?

You can do this at any reading by Paula Bonnell.
Or without leaving home, it's also easy to do. All you need to know is the cost (below) and the address: PO Box 51860, Boston, MA 02205.

Message - hard cover with dust jacket $20
Airs & Voices - trade paperback $13.95
Before the Alphabet - chapbook, saddle-stitched $13.99
tales retold - perfect-bound chapbook $13.99

for shipping, add :

1 book $3
2 books $4
3 books $5
4 books $6

Compute the amount, write a check, put in the mail, and
you’ll soon have the book(s) autographed by the author with gratitude.

the newest of the four --
published in April of 2017

From advance praise for tales retold, published in April of 2017:

"In this remarkable collection Bonnell enters sideways, as it were, stories and histories
that we thought we knew well.
Lucid and lithe, her words tilt us into new regions of possibility."

-- Peter Schwenger, author of At the Borders of Sleep: On Liminal Literature

"In tales retold, Paula Bonnell burrows inside familiar tales from myth, legend, and popular culture, reimagining them to reveal insights that often amuse and always surprise. I admire Bonnell's subtlety . . . These are poems worth pondering."

-- Elaine Ford, author of The American Wife: Stories


for more, click the book's title just below:


Several poems can be accessed via the "Quick Links" section of the sidebar at your right.


RADIO INTERVIEW of Paula Bonnell by Gregory Josselyn

Essay about Szymborska's poems as translated into English


What have some readers said about Before the Alphabet?
You can see several quotes from members of a book group in California by taking the blue link for Before the Alphabet at the top of the sidebar to your right. Then scroll down to the heading "reactions to Before the Alphabet".


Anywhere in the site, clicking on the blue titles will take you somewhere else where more is given for the poem or book.

It's a little like chutes and ladders.

For a report on an April 18, 2013 reading in Boston, and for work -- two poems, an essay-- and tidbits, just go to the

In the window page via the tab words in the blue bar above.

For more poems, see QUICK LINKS, at right, below.

For an overview of all three Selected Works, you are invited to visit BOOKS.

Quick Links will take you directly to places in the site where you can find poems currently posted and places elsewhere where you can buy the books or read more about them and their poems.

Mi casa es su casa. Please make yourself at home.

Winner of the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry

     Selected by Mark Jarman

In selecting Airs & Voices for the Ciardi Prize, poet and critic Mark Jarman said,

The voice in Airs & Voices is fresh and original. Though the poet never labors to be significant, even the slightest poem lingers in memory. Wallace Stevens's thoughtfulness is present, but so is his playfulness. Kenneth Koch's playfulness is here, but so is his thoughtfulness. Whether speaking as various snowmen in "New Song" or as parts of a household in "Domestic Opera," the poet finds just the right expression for the subject, with a warmth and good humor that are in short supply nowadays. Sometimes the compassion is startling, as in "Elegy for an Unlikeable Sister-in-Law." Yet an austerity can take hold as well. "The Voices" makes us listen again to the things we said in response to 9/11. Finally, to paraphrase one of the most moving poems in Airs & Voices, "History and a House," this poetry is "so good. It must have happened before." And yet it all seems brand new.


More about Airs & Voices:

In October 2008,
USA Book News selected Airs & Voices as one of seven finalists
for its Best Poetry Book 2008 Award.

To buy now, click on the blue link to the publisher, BkMk Press, in the sidebar (below the titles of individual poems), to arrive at the publisher's catalogue page for Airs & Voices. To buy online, click on the little gray "Order" box at the upper right-hand corner of the page. Or you can call BkMk at (816) 235-2558 and order the book over the phone if you prefer.

Other ways to buy Airs & Voices include calling (800) 799-4148, the Carleton College Bookstore. Both Airs & Voices and Message are in stock and both books have Carleton extras included -- at no extra charge,
Also available from Grolier Poetry Book shop by phone (617) 547-4648, fax (617) 547-4230, or e-mail grolierpoetry@verizon.net.

In addition, you can buy Airs & Voices online by clicking the link to Small Press Distributors (in California) the right-hand sidebar (just above the titles of individual poems) under the "Quick Links" heading.

Would you like to learn more about the book itself?

Richard Wilbur called Airs & Voices "enchanting," adding that it deals "subtly with painful or touching things,
as in 'History & a House.'"


Maxine Kumin said Airs & Voices is "full of quirky insights that keep Bonnell's poems fresh and interesting."


"A clear, subtle, witty, and authentic voice," said X. J. Kennedy. " 'The Voices' may be one of the wisest comments on the catastrophe of 9/11 an American poet has made."

Read the full text of these three poets' quotes by taking the link below:

$13.95, 78-page trade paperback format

A description of the poems in Airs & Voices appears on the Books page.