2010 - Paperback
Amy Holman’s work is lyrical and lovely but not too lovely. She is equally at ease imagining the sitter in a Cassatt painting as she is imagining the life of an urban murder victim. Often a detached observer, often a wry participant in the society’s follies, she finds the world endlessly fascinating. Its quirks, failures, disappointments, and beauty are her subject, which she captures for us in a language of playful wit, keen insight, and the sophisticated reportage of the flâneur.
-Stephanie Brown, author of Domestic Interior and Allegory of the Supermarket
How does the work of observation meet and intertwine with the pulse of the imagination? How does the initiating spark – from a fantastic array of sources – ramify into a profoundly uttered structure? Each one unto itself, the poems in Amy Holman’s Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window locate our hearts in the grasp and release of her language, at a hanging moment of confluence and branching out, at the precise border where Why? dissolves into It is. Open in our hands, this book becomes a rare and exhilarating thing: a cascade of breaths caught, yet flowing.
-Eric Darton, author of the novel, Free City, and Divided We Stand: A Biography of New York City's World Trade Center
This book is witty, erudite, wise, frightening, and beautiful. If I had a friend leaving on a solitary journey I would give her this book and say “Take this with you as a companion.” It is the story of a woman living alone with a dog, in a neighborhood with headlines and shadows. People turn up naked and unsurprised here. Tame animals, birds, dogs and cats, notice their owner is missing. Sometimes it’s the pet that disappears. Physically, this world where wrens fly in the window is Brooklyn, from the Brooklyn bridge to the canal, but the imaginative scope of the wren-world is wide, especially through its playful encounters with newspaper headlines. In both neighborhood walks and national news, there is violence, and nakedness, and solitude. In life, difficult as it is, there are funny things to look at everywhere. How to notice such points of interest? It is good to have an eagle-eye companion with a quick tongue. Words are delicious here. This is brilliant, gracious, and dangerous poetry.
-Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of The Happiness Myth and The Next Ancient World