Poetry Will Save Your Life by Jill Bialosky
A Memoir

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...seeing an attractive young man caused her to feel “like a Christmas tree all lit up.” Thankfully, such bumps in the road are infrequent. An emotional, sometimes-wrenching account of how lines of poetry can be lifelines.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

An unconventional and inventive coming-of-age memoir organized around forty-three remarkable poems by poets such as Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens and Sylvia Plath, from a critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author and poet.

For Jill Bialosky, certain poems stand out like signposts at pivotal moments in a life: the death of a father, adolescence, first love, leaving home, the suicide of a sister, marriage, the birth of a child, the day in New York City the Twin Towers fell. As Bialosky narrates these moments, she illuminates the ways in which particular poems offered insight, compassion, and connection, and shows how poetry can be a blueprint for living. In Poetry Will Save Your Life, Bialosky recalls when she encountered each formative poem, and how its importance and meaning evolved over time, allowing new insights and perceptions to emerge.

While Bialosky’s personal stories animate each poem, they touch on many universal experiences, from the awkwardness of girlhood, to crises of faith and identity, from braving a new life in a foreign city to enduring the loss of a loved one, from becoming a parent to growing creatively as a poet and artist.

In Poetry Will Save Your Life, Bialosky has crafted an engaging and entirely original examination of a life while celebrating the enduring value of poetry, not as a purely cerebral activity, but as a means of conveying personal experience and as a source of comfort and intimacy. In doing so she brilliantly illustrates the ways in which poetry can be an integral part of life itself and can, in fact, save your life.
 

About Jill Bialosky

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Jill Bialosky received an M.A. in writing from Johns Hopkins University, as well as an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the author of two books of poetry, and her poems and essays appear regularly in the Paris Review, the New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Nation, and Redbook, among others. An editor at W. W. Norton, she lives in New York with her husband and son.
 
Published August 15, 2017 by Atria Books. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Poetry Will Save Your Life
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Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 30 2017

...seeing an attractive young man caused her to feel “like a Christmas tree all lit up.” Thankfully, such bumps in the road are infrequent. An emotional, sometimes-wrenching account of how lines of poetry can be lifelines.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Larry Smith on Jun 05 2017

...a fiction writer’s sense of story with a poetic attention to detail. Bialosky years as a poetry editor for Norton Publishing pay off with her sharp recall and grasp of some of the poems that have helped her and others to survive.

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