Sundress Publications announces Sunni Brown Wilkinson’s The Ache and the Wing.
In this sublime collection, award-winning poet Sunni Brown Wilkinson shapes guilt and grief into a narrative of love, loss, and possibility. The Ache and the Wing explores the flickering, flighty nature of life by allowing a glimpse into the speaker’s world after the death of a newborn son. Bodies become houses, three-and-a-half-inch gaps appear in an old Irishman’s brain, and birdsong reverberates throughout these healing poems. Wilkinson gives life to last words. Her honest, yet delicate poems combine grief with possibility in the hope of rebuilding one’s life in the wake of absence.
Kimberly Blaeser, author of Copper Yearning, says of the collection, “In a ‘world wired for worry,’ enter these elegant poems. A catalogue of the real, The Ache and the Wing is filled with the miraculous everyday—the arms of the saguaro raised like ‘monks blessing the cracked earth;’ filled as well with ‘what eats your heart / into grave simplicity.’ The kaleidoscopic forms of loss include the burning of Yosemite and the weeping body of a stillborn child. Maybe, ‘the world is a starving coyote,’ maybe this poet has ‘so much sad truth to say,’ but the haunting images also hold hope. Perhaps the poems can teach ‘he difficult, / liquid art of living,’ teach their own delicate balancing of the ‘broken and beautiful.’ Here, Wilkinson marvels at birds who ‘make music out of nothing;’ she commands us: ‘open your emerald throat again.’”
Sunni Brown Wilkinson’s poetry can be found in Western Humanities Review, Sugar House Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, SWWIM, Crab Orchard Review and other journals and anthologies. She is the author of The Marriage of the Moon and the Field (Black Lawrence Press 2019, finalist for the Hudson Prize) and The Ache and the Wing (winner of Sundress’s 2020 Chapbook Prize). She also won New Ohio Review’s NORward Poetry Prize and the 2020 Joy Harjo Prize from Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. She teaches at Weber State University and lives in northern Utah with her husband and three sons.