from Brightword

Katie Ford, author of If You Have to Go

“Though none of us can predict our own futures, there are distinctive factors—individual and collective—that may forcibly turn our attention toward the uncertain. In the poems in Brightword the speaker, a mother, contemplates the microcosm and macrocosm of dissection. Physically, her son is at constant risk of a life-threatening cardiac event. Environmentally, her son is obsessed with nature and the threat of eco-catastrophes. Through lyric exchange, images become the principal of repose.”

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Kaveh Akbar, author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf

“Burwick’s Brightword takes its name from a line by Paul Celan—‘Near, in the aorta’s-arch, / in the bright blood: / the brightword’—and the whole collection feels inflected by that poet, that bright blood.  Here, ‘white friction, snow more specific /  than snow’ Burwick’s singular ear is matched only by her singular spirit; there is a grace in these poems few of us will ever know.”

The Common: An Interview with Rebecca Gayle Howell (2020):

Living the Bright Words: A Conversation with Eco-poet Kimberly Burwick


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from Custody of the Eyes

Yusef Komunyakaa, 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

“Kimberly Burwick’s collection Custody of the Eyes focuses beyond a shameful enterprise toward a meditative landscape of compressed insights. Each terse lyric expands into a glossary of measured emotions where nature is a character that emerges and delivers a life-force inherent in the spirit of the poems, and perhaps these realizations are curative. And yet, as the collection evolves, we nod our heads to the final truth: “Because I saw your birth, I am responsible for all the dead.” The encounter with death is monolithic. Burwick’s poems speak to the present and future by acknowledging the past through intriguing images, and unexpected phrases invite us in.”