Books and Publications

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Slamming Open the Door


Of all the losses we may be asked to bear, the murder of one’s child must be the most terrible. These poems evoke that keenly, seeking justice but transcending judgment as they grieve loss, celebrate love, and find healing.


“Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno creates a poetic sequence like no other,” says Robin Becker. “She is our Everywoman, holding church, family, and law to the light. Idiomatic, monumental, these poems grieve and range and stun. Can poetry matter? With her debut collection, Bonnano establishes, for lyric poetry, a new place in postmodern America. Brilliant. Humane. Enduring.”


"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 poems—and the occasions that make them impossible to not write—like 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


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Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude


Beloved Cover

This engaging anthology of 150 poems brings together a range of responses to the experiences of death, mourning, and gratitude for lost loved ones, composed by a variety of poets, both emerging and well-known. These poems can provide insight, solace, and understanding.


"A lovely book… This is a collection of poems that help give meaning to our grief and remind us that we are not alone.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune


"This anthology is sure to find its way to bookshelves in churches and funeral homes. It's a perfect collection from which to pick a reading for a loved one's memorial service."—St Paul Pioneer Press


"An anthology filled with healing and hope." —Rabbi Lawrence Kushner


"Beloved on the Earth is a timeless anthology, a meditation on ‘our capacity for wonder and for grief.’…The book itself…is the best book of poems I have reviewed so far this year.” —Vince Corvaia


"This would be an excellent resource for families and staff offering a way to be open to healing and grace."—Michele Fedderly, Executive Director, Hospice Minnesota


Purchase Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude at


Women's Review of Books Magazine


Womans Review Cover

Kathy's poems featured in 2008 issue and SOTD reviewed in current issue

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