Amanda Bonnick’s debut pamphlet ‘Pick Your Own’ was launched April 2019 at Drummonds Bar, Worcester. Readings, guest poets and music led to an amazing evening enjoyed by all present.
‘Pick Your Own is a beautiful collection of poems which prove that time travel is, in fact, possible. The childhood memories are particularly impressive and well captured. The sense of loss, of a father and of a child self, permeates the collection. There are moments that caught my heart – especially in Creature – and many that tugged at my own memories. I look forward to revisiting this collection many times.’
Susan Davidson—actor and poet.
There is a review available in full on Amanda’s Facebook page by Matthew Brockington, here’s a small extract:
‘The common thread of this sequence of poems is the kaleidoscope of events of childhood and the heat of long past summers, described with great relish and a lovely, messy physicality. The world perceived from a child’s height, and from a child’s consciousness pervades the poems in this book, as does the contrast of fantasy and reality in childhood and teenage years – learning to swim in “The First Time”; the comparison of the actual experience of a childhood summer “graceless with calamine” with the elegant French girls in “Sun”, and the rites of passage and gaining of insight in “Kawaski”.’
Matthew Brockington—actor and musician
‘These poems paint a vivid portrait of a girl negotiating the awkward passage to adulthood while coming to terms with her father’s death.That they never become maudlin or overly-nostalgic is a testament to Amanda Bonnick’s skill as a poet. From the subtle use of kennings, to the nod to Heaney in ‘Weeding’, these poems are aware of poetic tradition but move beyond it into something new. These are poems that know that even if prayer doesn’t work, sometimes it is important to pray,
and they are prayers to terrestrial gods, including fathers, boys, and nature.’
Ben Parker—poet-in-residence at The Museum of Royal Worcester (2015), poet-in-residence at The Swan Theatre, Worcester (2016).
There’s another smashing review on Mad Hatter Reviews here’s a small passage from the review:
‘Bonnick boasts a beautiful turn of phrase in this collection, with each piece having its own distinct imagery to be chewed over by the reader. Throughout there are stand-out lines that linger even now, long after reading: ‘Bubbles of juice pop between my teeth’ (‘Pick Your Own’); ‘grey grit dawn-soaked dead-end’ (Ten Pence for the Sea’); and, one of my favourites from the entire book, ‘I wasn’t a girl when I was a child. / I was a creature.’ (‘Creature’). There are superb line breaks throughout as well, that build tension and suspense, as well as serving for great comedic effect on one or two occasions.’
Written by: Charley Barnes—Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2019-2020
Amanda’s pamphlet is available direct from Black Pear Press, see below.
Get your copy direct from Black Pear Press £5.00 plus P&P: