Kimberly Becker's haunting collection calls readers to unknow the known in order to better understand our relationship with the real and imagined. More importantly, it beckons our tragedies and suffering into the light, wrapping us in acceptance only attainable through reflection and forgiveness.
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, author of Even As We Breathe
From hospice to feather bed, daybed to sleigh bed, Kimberly Becker renders each in their uniqueness. With humor, tenderness, and smart turns of phrase, she re-inscribes this everyday piece of furniture, ventures into dream worlds, storied landscapes, and haunted spaces of incest and abuse. Taken together, these striking poems invite the reader to unlock the ghost spaces of their own past. Survival is a mere outlasting; but here healing comes in the telling.
Kimberly Blaeser, author of Copper Yearning, Wisconsin Poet Laureate 2015-16
The Bed Book masterfully calls out and talks back to grim truths and demonstrates why poetry is necessary and sought after in moments of reimagining where beauty might reside and need protecting. This collection fulfills its purpose as a valuable roadmap through the complex lineages of this oeuvre.
Each compelling poem contains a world in miniature. Each bed is intense, dark, fertile, complicated, and wondrously overwhelming as they disintegrate into word portraits.
Kimberly L. Becker makes poetry of searing scars and seething blood. Stunning and haunting language illuminates the ghosts of time and place with a vibrancy so visceral you can hear the pores of the skin, the chambers of the heart, the scream in the throat opening wider releasing truth and light.
Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate
The Bed Book tells a soul-wrenching bedtime story. Bed serves as container for a lifetime’s dreams and nightmares. This magically unreliable narrator reaches right through the book, to reader: “Let’s tuck you in,/up to your chin/Never fear:/ the fire isn’t real/ Always fear:/of course the fire is real.” What is safety? Sudden twists in narration tenderize reader: “She’d wait until it was safe/ before she came out/ She never came out.” Poems are eerily taut, ghost laden, our sonnet-safe haven become dangerous: “There were/ no guardrails on your beds/no guards within, without.” Dysphoric mind-heart embodies her terror: “wills her breath to stop picking the lock of her lungs,/ lest the ghost will hear." Surreal disassociations, felt here: “The way my body/would fly away/and wait on the ceiling.” Eerie rhymes bring the wound home: “blood at the beak/no song to speak.” Becker’s bed, contemplative as Bardo, holy wholly: “The bed you made of sorrow,/ circling like a dog/ to find your place.” Universal Bed, a place to cross over, a space for spirit visitation: “After I die/ I visit her,/ stand at the foot/of her bed.” Here we listen in, hungry for moments of respite found in the purity of arriving: “alone to this unhistoried bed.”
Heather Woods, author of Light Bearing
In addition to The Bed Book, Kimberly L. Becker is author of three other poetry collections: Words Facing East and The Dividings (WordTech Editions), and Flight (forthcoming, MadHat Press). Individual poems appear widely in journals and anthologies, including Indigenous Message on Water; Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence; and Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits. She has held grants from Maryland, North Carolina, and New Jersey and residencies at Hambidge, Weymouth, and Wildacres. Reading venues include Busboys and Poets and The National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC. She has served as mentor for PEN America’s Prison Writing and AWP’s Writer to Writer programs. www.kimberlylbecker.com