(Gaspereau Press, 2012)
Monica Kidd’s Handfuls of Bone takes the reader to the end of the road and back, to outports both literal and figurative, to consider how it is that things somehow hold together. The poems, primarily short, narrative in form and lyric in spirit, are driven by distilled observation and concern themselves with the elemental. These truths find their expression in images of fish drying on Newfoundland clotheslines, of the velvety breath of a newborn baby, of a family’s grief following a sudden death, of Amelia Earhart’s ambition and apprehension, and of motherhood through thick and thin. In confronting uncomfortable moments of loss, want, illness, uncertainty and conflict, Kidd holds a level gaze, avoiding sentimentality and nostalgia. Kidd’s is a poetic which embodies the twin skills of her physicians trainingcool-headed and unblinking observation-based diagnosis combined with compassion, empathy and humanity.