Published September 5, 2017
poems by Sidney Wade
illustrated trade paperback
"Sidney Wade's linguistic and philosophical turns
in Bird Book confirm that she is both the
supreme heir to Wallace Stevens and one
of the most original poets in the language."*
"If a gang of angels conspired to write a field guide to
selected birds, I think it might resemble Bird Book."**
IN THIS STUNNING COLLECTION, distinguished poet Sidney Wade offers an exquisite array of poems at once sublime and playful, dedicated to the unearthly wonders of winged creatures. Wade's brilliantly vivid, elegant verse is sure to delight and inspire general readers, poetry enthusiasts, and avid birders or naturalists alike. Bird Book is a universal song of praise to the mysteries and intricacies of the animal world that surrounds us, and a wide-awake hymn, by a master lyricist, to the delights and surprises of our common language. It is an American treasure.
SIDNEY WADE’s poetry has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry Magazine, and many other publications. She is the author of six volumes of poems: Straits & Narrows, Stroke, Celestial Bodies, Empty Sleeves, Green, and From Istanbul. She attended the University of Vermont, earning a BA in philosophy and an MEd in Counseling, received a PhD in English from the University of Houston, and has served as president of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). A Fulbright scholar and translator, Wade is a professor emerita at the University of Florida where she taught creative writing and was poetry editor for the UF literary journal Subtropics.
Praise for Bird Book:
"The poems in Bird Book take delight in making a nimble song, but as verbally playful and dexterous as they may be, they are equally remarkable for their compassion, wit, and quiet powers of observation.
Sidney Wade’s natural world is one in which the lively and the lovely frequently converge in that poetic service of giving fresh names to all the eye and mind frequently take for granted. It isn’t just that Wade
deploys her winged subjects for our momentary consideration — the indigo bunting, oriole, red-winged blackbird, cardinal, great white pelican and snowy owl, to list just a few — but she does so in a way that results in new, original expressions for love, awe, joy, and the subtle, menacing acknowledgment that all life, in one way or another, is migratory and gorgeously (if also sorrowfully) evanescent. This is a beautiful, wise, and timely collection."
-DANIEL ANDERSON, author of Night Guard at the Wilberforce Hotel
"Bird Book is more than an aviary; in poems sleek as a beak and 'catholic // in their taste / for carrion,' Wade troubles the air with her eye and ear for wonder — for creatures that, like us, are fragile but 'oddly / godly.' This collection, unlike any I have read, builds, with its gorgeous, expansive, 'earth-sprung language,' a compassionate call to action: 'we must learn to balance trust and power.' Sidney Wade’s linguistic and philosophical turns in Bird Book confirm that she is both the supreme heir to Wallace Stevens and one of the most original poets in the language."
*RANDALL MANN, author of Straight Razor
"In her concluding poem from Bird Book, Sidney Wade writes, 'This earth-sprung language, bright and resonant, rattles from the throats of the leaving cranes.' It is difficult to imagine a more precise description of Wade's own language in this marvelous new collection. And as impressive and thrillingly exact as these poems are concerning matters ornithological, it is the exquisite music -- 'earth-sprung, bright, and resonant' -- of Wade's radically short line that so enchants me, the free play of interlinear rhyme, phonemic harmonies, and small bursts of metrical rhythms that yield more vitality and delight than any gathering of poems I have encountered in a very long time. If a gang of angels conspired to write a field guide to selected birds, I think it might resemble Bird Book."
**B.H. FAIRCHILD, author of The Blue Buick and Usher
"The quick, closely observed poems in Sidney Wade's beguiling Bird Book move from page to page like their subjects -- in flight, on air, a murmuration sweeping across the horizon. Curl up with this lovely book, or better still, take it out to the woods and the crowded skies and let it be your field guide."
-WILLIAM SOUDER, author of Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of The Birds of America, Pulitzer Prize Finalist
"Supple and airy as their subjects, and as durable and colorful, too, Sidney Wade’s poems in Bird Book remind us of the sonic closeness of the words 'bird' and 'bard.' These are poems of wit, surprise, elegance, joy, and a sense of the marvelous. They take flight."
-MARK JARMAN, author of The Heronry
100 pages / 5.5 x 8.5 paperback
September 5, 2017