From the Publisher
"Readers will have to step outside of a familiar, comforting tradition of poetic grief while reading this book....To read [Slamming Open the Door] is to stand onstage with a writer who finds herself in the middle of a story in which she has been reluctantly cast."The New York Times Book Review
"I really love the poems we're about to hear. They're beautifully written. But some of them really hurt. They're about the worst thing that can happen to a mother, the murder of her child."Terry Gross, Host of Fresh Air
"Written with skill in tight, spare lines without sentimentality or melodrama, Bonanno launches readers through the experience, one that evokes a universal terror...A stunning first book."Library Journal
“When Emily Dickinson wrote the line 'After great pain, a formal feeling comes' I think she was referring to poemsand the occasions that make them impossible to not writelike these. Spare, unflinching, and powerful, the poems in Slamming Open the Door move me to the bone. How does one say I love this book, which I wish never had to be written? Only one way: I love this book. I wish it did not have to be written.”Thomas Lux
In her debut volume, Bonanno personifies death as an intruder who insinuates itself into her life after the unthinkable happens, the murder of a daughter at the hands of an ex-boyfriend. Chronologically arranged, almost a novel in verse, these poems are written with startling clarity and precision, telling of a mother's and a family's first worry, the unanswered calls, the frantic drive, the certainty that the killer's face was the daughter's last image, the trial, aftermath, and the final adjustment. "Losing your daughter,/to murder,/requires adjustment," she says. This horror is the stuff of which nightmares are made. It becomes "your very own/annunciation." Written with skill in tight, spare lines without sentimentality or melodrama, Bonanno launches readers through the experience, one that evokes a universal terror. The daughter's death becomes the talisman for domestic violence, for women who must die at the hands of those who feel it is their right to kill them. In one of the final poems, "Ladybug," the daughter's nickname, the narrator "see[s] them everywhere": "Hundreds of them,/shining orange and black,/the dead and the living together-/the living/on the backs of the dead." A stunning first book; highly recommended.