GIVEAWAY: Where Nothing Can Grow and In the Kingdom of Sons

I’m participating in The Big Poetry Giveaway! The Big Poetry Giveaway is where poets giveaway one of their own books (or chapbooks) and a favorite book (or chapbook) during the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month. This year I’m giving away a copy of my chapbook, Where Nothing Can Grow (Batcat Press 2011), and, for my second giveaway, In the Kingdom of Sons by Bonnie Bolling.


::a little about me::
I’m a christian, a wife, and a mother to a six month old baby girl. I’m a born and raised Southerner, the oldest of three daughters, and I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I read Ray Bradbury as a little girl and learned that language can be beautiful. Right now I’m working on my fourth chapbook and my first full-length manuscript. My poetry is predominantly free verse lyric poetry, though I dabble in narrative and prose poems too. Some of my favorite authors include C.D. Wright, Charles Wrights (really, all the Wrights), Seamus Heaney, Jane Kenyon, Louise Gluck, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, and Ray Bradbury, to name a few.


{ 2 Free Books

The first book I’m giving away is a copy of my most recent chapbook, Where Nothing Can Grow (Batcat Press, 2011)

Its a short collection of about twenty poems on the South, family, and relationships. My third, and as of right now, favorite of my chapbooks.  And its worth noting that Batcat Press does lovely work–hardcover, handstitched, a rare thing for a chapbook.

[A sample poem:

Sons and Daughters

The one with the most expensive camera
becomes the photographer, calls each couple
out to the garden, the birch tree with white
Christmas lights wrapping its trunk,
tea lights on the roots
the only elements of glitz
(besides his arm around her shoulders)
marking today as something special,
worth looking at more than once.

Grandma wouldn’t cap her front tooth,
and James wouldn’t marry Jeannie
from Boise, and Karen wouldn’t turn
off her phone, and Jenn wouldn’t pour
the wine for the toast, and no one
liked the flavor of the cake
or the plastic leaves tucked around
the icing flowers, like little gold
birds perched on their shoulders,
glimmering without singing.

Hard to keep everyone smiling
when we’re posing there together,
all the sons and daughters fanning out
the youngest ones bent down on one knee
like we’re all on the same team,
and it’s the end of the year, and we’ve won a few.


The second book I am giving away is In the Kingdom of Sons by Bonnie Bolling. I have a lot of favorite poetry books and favorite poets, but I wanted to go with a poet that might not have as much exposure or publicity as some of my other favorite poets (like Seamus Heaney or C.D. Wright). 

Bolling’s In the Kingdom of Sons was a book I reviewed for Newpages a while back.

Bonnie Bolling’s collection In the Kingdom of the Sons, winner of the 2011 Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry selected by Tom Sleigh, is a sensual work from a distinctly female perspective, exploring topics of motherhood, sexuality and domesticity, and how these aspects of being a woman interplay.

What I love about this book is the fresh perspective on motherhood and domesticity; I think women shy away from these subjects in their poems, sometimes, because they are too afraid of becoming “sentimental.”

[A sample poem:

There Is a Small Wind

No one else can own this beginning or this end.
It looks back at you from your own face,
until you don’t know your mind.
Overhead, the tick of exhausted ceiling fans,
the round brown stains; the dull hooded fluorescents buzz.

Low down to the floor is a small wind,
like the one through cornrows,
down where seed becomes some other thing.

Soon enough I will lie beneath it all.

I know who I come from—
not from women who ate the lamb,
but from the ones who bled it into a pail.

You can see there is nothing polished here.
You can feel the calloused fingers.
You can see the reddened hands.

But words draw closer, words spill into bright air
and I wait in the shine between them.


This drawing is open from now through ALL OF APRIL, National Poetry Month!

If you’d like to be entered, please leave your name, email address, and which book (or books) you hope to win, by midnight, APRIL 30th, 2012 in the comment section of this post, and I’ll be randomly choosing 2 lucky winners on May 1st.

29 thoughts on “GIVEAWAY: Where Nothing Can Grow and In the Kingdom of Sons”

  1. Nice to meet you, Renee! Please enter me in your drawing. Since I don't have either book, I'd be happy to win either of them. 🙂

    Allyson Whipple


  2. Both books sound great, but I would most like to win the Bolling book, and get some inspiration for my own domestic poetry.

    blarue AT nycap dot rr dot com



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