Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Poet Has a Special Way of Seeing; Bonny Barry Sanders Won '05 Poetry Award

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Poet Has a Special Way of Seeing; Bonny Barry Sanders Won '05 Poetry Award

Article excerpt


Sometimes water and walks can result in words, magical words that touch the heart and the mind.

Especially if it's a poet who's doing the walking and the writing.

She's Bonny Barry Sanders, and sometimes her carefully arranged words do, in fact, turn out to be as fluid as a gentle stream and as rhythmic as a graceful stroll in the woods.

She lives on Greenfield Creek in Arlington with her husband, Tom Sanders, and draws much of her inspiration from nature.

"I just love walking and watching birds and taking in the beautiful Florida landscape," she said. "And nature always shows up in my poems. Even if I'm writing about a person or the city, a bird or a tree or some allusion to nature will show up in the poem. There's an interconnection between the human and the natural that can't be separated."

Sanders grew up in Maryland and moved to Jacksonville with her husband in 1993. She was recently awarded the 2005 First Place Royal Palm Literary Award for Poetry by the Florida Writers' Association.

Her first volume of poetry, Touching Shadows, was published in March by Val Verde Press of California. She has published more thana 80 poems in 36 literary journals throughout the country.

She started writing poetry while attending high school in Annapolis, Md., and got serious about it while pursing her master's degree. She's particularly inspired by Robert Frost.

"I've always loved his brevity and his metaphor. He could just fall into metaphors," she said. "I read him and am reminded that poetry is making associations through the use of metaphors."

Reading Sanders' poetry could be an eye-opening experience for her readers, wrote Bill Tremblay, a published poet and novelist who's taught creative writing at Colorado State University for 30 years.

"Not every book of poems promises a special way of seeing," he wrote. "Yet this is the covenant that Touching Shadows makes with its readers, and it delivers."

Although she considers herself primarily a poet, her literary essays and book reviews have appeared in numerous newspapers and literary journals. …

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