Advance praise for Glitter City:
February 10, 2024
Book cover design by Carolyn Czerwinski
"At the center/of it all is the heart," writes Bonnie Jill Emanuel in her sorrowful and astounding collection of poems, Glitter City. These poems allow and are allowed. Sit down and read them in the dark and you will be able to see. The light is in every one of her missives because she writes from the center. It is the heart of these poems, whether you are walking with the speaker through Brooklyn or the shores of Lake Erie, that let you love. Love. Can you say love anymore when talking about poems? I love these poems and I don’t care if you can or not. Because when you read these poems, you feel them in your body. Yes. You feel these beauties everywhere in the physical matter of your being. Bonnie Jill Emanuel’s poem glitter. They glitter Taraxacum, they glitter 8-Mile Road, they glitter I am Neil Armstrong in an avalanche, they glitter all the cities and factories and love stories of a whole world. Glitter City-in all its shapes and forms and heartbeats—glitters you, glitters me, glitters the blood river of the human spirit that never wants to stop shining."
–Matthew Lippman, author of We Are Sleeping with Our Sneakers On
"The best way to see a star is to gaze at the sky beside it, so its shape and shimmer sidle into your eye. In the spare, intense, searching, sometimes sidelong poems of Glitter City, Bonnie Jill Emanuel writes in burst after burst of light, her images and insights accruing into seriously dazzling designs of illumination. Even as her urban and natural landscapes are lit by shadows, by what is “alive & perishing/at once,” they glint with human connection and the hard-won comprehension of beauty. “Love is sky./ Rejoice like a weed every hour,” she says. In another poem she declares, “the sky itself grows as I write.” For the reader, these poems emerge one by one like evening stars that ultimately trace entire constellations."
–David Groff, author of Live in Suspense
"The poems in Bonnie Jill Emanuel’s Glitter City are photographic. Their tension pulls between urban darkness and the green lights of floral and plant life. The thread of losses is a bridge between these. People in the shadows, vines reaching vines, the communion among strangers in the city, vulnerability, illness, and the haunting early days of the Covid pandemic are almost like voices in the poems. The poems’ shapes and leaps show the tenderness of nature, but also its blind viciousness. Emanuel’s eye for texture and surprising insights in poem after poem mean she is always listening."
–Sean Singer, author of Today in the Taxi, winner of the National Jewish Book Award
"The glitter in Bonnie Jill Emanuel’s poetry is a starry break from the expected. She enlists these tiny shards to pierce what’s ordinary and illuminate it––making a novel experience of something as common as sorrow or a field of fences or a convenience store's torn awning. The world, in her imagination, takes place in a kind of metaphoric 3-D. There’s a wildness and depth to her range, her palette. Her heart, like glitter, is so far from sentimental she gets it to glide into fresh emotional territory with subtly and ease, as in: “The heart always feels so humid / in the eyes” and “… I drop my heart down the soapy dark dishwater lake to see if it still floats.” In poem after nimble poem, Glitter City is that rarity––a true and sustained pleasure to read."
–Elaine Sexton, author of Drive