BIRD NOTES by Betsy Hughes


Here is a beautiful book of sonnets about birds and what they mean to us.  Snowy owls, macaws, cardinals, loons, along with other winged creatures we’ve never heard of, fly through these pages to surprise and delight.  Each poem has a different perspective — we see northern gannets dive in the water for fish, we listen with loggers to marbled murrelets singing in the branches of Douglas firs, and we examine our superstitions about crows as we observe a “murder” of them.  These poems are word paintings, Audubon in verse.

–David Lee Garrison, author of Playing Bach in the DC Metro

Betsy Hughes
, in her observation and various travels, whether imaginary or literal, takes the reader on marvelous and unexpected journeys.  She is so gifted at rhyme and meter that these attributes always center on the mind and heart.  They never disturb; they always surprise.  Hughes, it might be said, keeps company with the masters of the English form:  Shakespeare, Sidney, and Spenser, the three S’s; with Yeats and Berryman, Bishop, and Ransom.  In several words:  she is a remarkably gifted poet and we are wealthier for her presence.

–Herbert Woodward Martin, The Paul Laurence Dunbar Laureate Poet for Dayton, Ohio






by Betsy Hughes

$14.99, paper

Betsy Hughes‘s love of nature combines with her love of the sonnet form in this collection of poems about birds — actual, mythical, and metaphorical birds.  Her first collection of sonnets, Breaking Weather, won the 2013 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and was published by the NFSPS Press in 2014.  Betsy taught English for 30 years at The Miami Valley School and lives with her husband in Dayton, Ohio.


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