In Night Talks: New & Selected Poems (Press 53), Terri Kirby Erickson, winner of the 2021 International Book Award for Poetry for her sixth collection of poems, A Sun Inside My Chest, offers up a series of new poems on life, family, loss, and healing, along with selected poems from her previous six award-winning collections.
Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of seven collections of
poetry, including Night Talks: New & Selected Poems (Press 53). Her work has received multiple honors such as the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, Nautilus Silver Book Award, Atlanta Review International Publication Award, International Book Award for Poetry, Gold Medal in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award, and many others. Her poems have appeared in “American Life in Poetry,” Annals of Internal Medicine, Asheville Poetry Review, JAMA, Latin American Literary Review, NASA News & Notes, Poetry Foundation, Poet’s Market, Sport Literate, The Christian Century, The SUN, The Writer’s Almanac, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and other literary journals, anthologies, newspapers, and magazines. She lives with her husband in North Carolina.
The poems in Night Talks are comfortably below the strange abstract. They settle into real good places. And thank goodness, no tired metaphors park in Terri Kirby Erickson’s yard. Only fresh ones pull in for our pleasure and surprise. These poems go to new places and show us that we all have a precious lot in common—something we need to know, right now.Clyde Edgerton, author of Raney and Redeye
Where to begin praising Night Talks: New & Selected Poems—this beautiful, generous, satisfying book? I have dog-eared poem after poem I want to read again and mention, and made notes in margin after margin. Terri Kirby Erickson is at the height of her powers spinning the dross of loss into the gold of compassion and art. Her poet’s eye captures love in settings others might not notice: tender family interactions in “Free Breakfast,” her mother’s and now her own way with “Egg Salad,” another mother-daughter interaction in “The Ophthalmology Specialists’ Secondary Waiting Room.” There are other poems about dramatic and profound losses that the poet has endured, but through the losses she has continued to praise the world. This is a book that makes me want to be a better poet and a better person. Give a copy to everyone you love.Donna Hilbert, author of Threnody and Gravity: New & Selected Poems
The world has a secret history—we don’t know who invented the wheel and, more importantly, the axle that allows the wheel to spin—and each life does as well. These poems give immense pleasure, but they also teach by example; they look at the photos stored in the poet’s memory bank so carefully, thoughtfully, and empathetically that I found myself going back over my own experiences using the techniques I picked up here. What a stunning artist Terri Kirby Erickson is! I’m not related to her, but I wish I were.David Kirby, author of Help Me, Information