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Odd Mercy (Paperback)

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Winner of the 2016 Charlotte Mew Prize

The centerpiece of Odd Mercy is "The Little Mommy Sonnets," a crown of sonnets that carries us poignantly through the life and death of the poet's mother, as well as their complicated bond over time. I was impressed with Gail Thomas' dedication to craft, her richness of detail and especially her deft transitions from the end line of one sonnet to the opening line of the next. The challenge here is to repeat the line, but to make it new, to show us another facet, and Thomas does that so skillfully in these poems, propelling us forward through the narrative. Poetry uses words to convey what is beyond words, to say the unsayable. The last line of Odd Mercy expresses this paradox tenderly as the poet reflects on her mother: "your words/now gibberish, your voice always in my head."
-Ellen Bass, Judge of the Charlotte Mew Prize

The stunning centerpiece of Odd Mercy, "The Little Mommy Sonnets" explores a complicated mother/daughter relationship that is turned on its head by dementia. "Did we find each other too late or just in time?" asks the daughter as her mother's "sharp tongue dissolves" and her own "armor melts." Beautifully written, heartfelt, generous, and forgiving, all the poems in this collection touched my heart deeply. Gail Thomas is a poet of tremendous talent.
-Leslea Newman, author of I Carry My Mother

On Waving Back (2015)

These are poems of authority and grace, alive with the pulse of desire and the mystery of our deep connections.
-Joan Larkin

Thomas brings precise observation and earned wisdom to poems in which the "bitter and the sweet entwine."
-Robin Becker
Product Details
ISBN: 9780997914924
ISBN-10: 0997914920
Publisher: Headmistress Press
Publication Date: November 10th, 2016
Pages: 46
Language: English