Felicity: Poems

FelicityBy Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, celebrates love in her new collection of poems.

If I have any secret stash of poems, anywhere, it might be about love, not anger, Mary Oliver once said in an interview. Finally, in her stunning new collection, Felicity, we can immerse ourselves in Oliver s love poems. Here, great happiness abounds.

Our most delicate chronicler of physical landscape, Oliver has described her work as loving the world. With Felicity she examines what it means to love another person. She opens our eyes again to the territory within our own hearts; to the wild and to the quiet. In these poems, she describes with joy the strangeness and wonder of human connection.

As in Blue Horses, Dog Songs, and A Thousand Mornings, with Felicity Oliver honors love, life, and beauty.

Insomnia: Poems

InsomniaInsomnia: Poems
By Linda Pastan

These poems chart the journeys of sleepless nights when whole lifetimes seem to pass with their stories: loves lost and gained; children and seasons in their phases; and the world beyond, both threatening and enriching life. The time before sleep acts as an invitation to reflect on the world’s quieter movements from gardens heavy after a first storm to the moon slipping into darkness in an eclipse as well as on the subtle but relentless passage of time. Insomnia embodies Linda Pastan’s graceful and iconic voice, both lucid and haunting.

Enchanted Air

Enchanted AirEnchanted Air
By Margarita Engle

In this poetic memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.

Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother’s tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Words and images are her constant companions, friendly and comforting when the children at school are not.

Then a revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita fears for her far-away family. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupts at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Margarita’s worlds collide in the worst way possible. How can the two countries she loves hate each other so much? And will she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?

Come listen to the poetry of Sydney Eddison on October 4th at 2:00p.m.

We all know Sydney Eddison from Newtown. What you may not know is that she has written a beautiful book of poetry. Join us  to hear her read from her new book, “Where We Walk: poems rooted in the soil of New England”

where3Sydney Eddison has written six other books on gardening. She has been honored by National Garden Clubs Inc. with their Award of Excellence for 2010. For her work as a writer, gardener, and lecturer, she has also received the Connecticut Horticultural Society’s Gustav A. L. Melquist Award in 2002; the New England Wild Flower Society’s Kathryn S. Taylor Award in 2005; and in 2006, The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut’s Bronze Medal. Her garden has been featured in magazines and on television. A former scene designer and drama teacher, Eddison lectures widely and is a frequent contributor to Fine Gardening magazine and other publications. Sydney Eddison lives with her Jack Russell Terrier, Phoebe, in a yellow farmhouse surrounded by a 2-1/2-acre garden of her own creation in Newtown, Connecticut. Her articles have appeared in such publications as FINE GARDENING and HORTICULTURE, and she is the award-winning author of seven books on gardening, including GARDENING FOR A LIFETIME, A PASSION FOR DAYLILIES, and A PATCHWORK GARDEN. She was Grand Marshall in the Newtown Labor Day Parade in 2014. This is her first book of poetry.


Poetry with Marilyn Nelson

We were honored to host former Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut Marilyn Nelson on Saturday June 20th at 4:00p.m. for a poetry reading at the bookstore. Marilyn_Nelson

Faster than lightHer latest book, Faster Than Light is described as conjuring numerous voices and characters across oceans and centuries explores widely disparate experiences through the lens of traditional poetic forms.

Her book for a younger audience, How I Discovered Poetry, The National Book Award, Newbery Honor and multiple Coretta Scott King Honor-winning poet reflects on her childhood in the 1950s and her development as an artist and young woman through 50 illuminating poems that consider such influences as the Civil Rights Movement, the “Red Scare” atomic bomb era and the Feminist Movement. How i discovered

From her bio:

Marilyn Nelson, born in Cleveland, Ohio, is the daughter of a member of the last graduating class of Tuskegee Airmen. Her mother was a teacher. She is the author or translator of over twenty-four books. Marilyn’s latest collection of poems is Faster Than Light(2012), winner of the 2013 Milton Kessler Poetry Award. The Homeplace (1990) was a finalist for the National Book Award. The Fields of Praise: New and Selected Poems (1997) won the 1998 Poets’ Prize and was a finalist for the 1997 National Book Award, the PEN Winship Award, and the Lenore Marshall Prize. The Cachoiera Tales and Other Poems (2005) won the L.E. Phillabaum Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Her numerous young adult books include Carver: A Life in Poems (2001), which received the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, was a National Book Award finalist and was designated both a Newbery Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Another of her young adult booksA Wreath For Emmett Till, also won the 2005 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and was designated a 2006 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, a 2006 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and a 2006 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book.

Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship and a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Nelson is a professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut, was founder/director and host of Soul Mountain Retreat, and held the office of Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut from 2001 to 2006. She is currently Poet-in-Residence of The Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Also, her forthcoming books are Seneca Village (Namelos) and American Ace (Penguin/Dial).

Marilyn was awarded the 2012 Frost Medal, the Poetry Society of America’s most prestigious award, for “distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry.” In January 2013 she was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. Her latest collection for young adults is How I Discovered Poetry (Dial, 2014), a memoir in verse with illustrations by Hadley Hooper.

The author was introduced by her friend and Byrd’s Books Connecticut author, Donna Marie Merritt, who will read a poem from her book, Her House and Other Poems. Donna Marie Merritt is the author of four poetry books, including Her House and Other Poems(Stairwell Books, 2013) and What’s Wrong with Ordinary? Poems to Celebrate Life (Avalon Press, 2012). Her work has been included in a number of anthologies, most recently, Garbanzo Literary Journal, vol. 5. Forthcoming poems will be published in National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry (Oct. 2015) and, for younger readers, Little, Brown’s One Minute Till Bedtime (Spring 2016).



Flowers Are Calling

Flowers are callingThis rhyming, poetic and beautifully illustrated picture book explores the wonders of natural cooperation between plants, animals and insects.

Blue Horses

Blue HorsesBy Mary Oliver

In this stunning collection of new poems, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life’s work, describing with wonder both the everyday and the unaffected beauty of nature. Herons, sparrows, owls, and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, artistry, and impermanence. Whether considering a bird’s nest, the seeming patience of oak trees, or the artworks of Franz Marc, Oliver reminds us of the transformative power of attention and how much can be contained within the smallest moments. At its heart, “Blue Horses” asks what it means to truly belong to this world, to live in it attuned to all its changes. Humorous, gentle, and always honest, Oliver is a visionary of the natural world.

Once in the West: Poems

OnceWestBy Christian Wiman

A searing new collection from one of our country’s most important poets.

Typically cryptic, God said three weasels
slipping electric over the rocks
one current conducting them up the tree
by the river in the woods of the country
into which I walked
away and away and away
—from “Witness”

Once in the West, Christian Wiman’s fourth collection of poetry, is as intense and intimate as poetry gets – from the “suffering of primal silence” that it plumbs to the “rockshriek of joy” that it achieves and enables. Readers of Wiman’s earlier books will recognize the sharp characterization and humor – “From her I learned the earthworm’s exemplary open-mindedness, / its engine of discriminate shit” – as well as his particular brand of reverent rage: “Lord if I implore you please just please leave me alone / is that a prayer that’s every instant answered?” But there is something new here, too: moving love poems to Wiman’s wife, tender glimpses of the poet’s children, and, amid the onslaughts of illness and fear and failures, “a trace / of peace.”

The Watch that Ends the Night

Watch that Ends the NightBy Allan Wolf

Arrogance and innocence, hubris and hope – twenty-four haunting voices of the Titanic tragedy, as well as the iceberg itself, are evoked in a stunning tour de force.

Millionaire John Jacob Astor hopes to bring home his pregnant teen bride with a minimum of media scandal. A beautiful Lebanese refugee, on her way to family in Florida, discovers the first stirrings of love. And an ancient iceberg glides south, anticipating its fateful encounter. The voices in this remarkable re-creation of the Titanic disaster span classes and stations, from Margaret (“the unsinkable Molly”) Brown to the captain who went down with his ship; from the lookout and wireless men to a young boy in search of dragons and a gambler in search of marks. Slipping in telegraphs, undertaker’s reports, and other records, poet Allan Wolf offers a breathtaking, intimate glimpse at the lives behind the tragedy, told with clear-eyed compassion and astounding emotional power.

Surprise visit by author Sean Pidgeon on Saturday March 9th at 5:30!

Byrd’s Books is thrilled to host author Sean Pidgeon in a SURPRISE visit to our store on Saturday March 9th at 5:30! Please join us to meet the author, discuss his wonderful book, “Finding Camlann” and get a signed copy.  Finding Camlann

About the book:

“This is a new and gripping look at the history and landscape of Britain and the legend of King Arthur. A linguist and an archeologist search for the truth behind the myth, as they climb foggy hills and glean new meanings from a mysterious poem. We follow them in the throes of love and dread, through long-lost battles and modern feuds, as they look with fascination at the secrets and natural beauty of an ancient land that lives anew. Finding Camlann will please both scholars and poets and will intrigue historians and lovers of romance.” —Daniel Butler, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

About the author:

Sean Pidgeon was born in Reading, England, and studied physics and astrophysics at the University of Manchester. He subsequently began a career in science publishing as a book editor, working at Oxford University Press and Macmillan. He moved to the United States in 1990 and is currently vice-president and publisher at John Wiley & Sons in Hoboken, New Jersey. He lives in New Jersey with his family. Visit him online at www.seanpidgeon.com or on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter @pidgeonwriter.