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About this poet

Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno was born in Reading, Pennsylvannia. She received her BA in English and MA in education from Temple University. She is the author of Slamming Open the Door (Alice James Books, 2009), a collection of poems about the murder of her daughter in 2003; the poet Sharon Olds called this book "a gift of power, truth, rage and beauty." Bonanno received a grant from the Knight Foundation to help establish Musehouse: A Center for Literary Arts in Philadelphia. She also served as a contributing editor to the American Poetry Review. She lived in Pennslyvannia until her death on June 15, 2017. 

Death Barged In

In his Russian greatcoat
slamming open the door 
with an unpardonable bang,
and he has been here ever since.

He changes everything,
rearranges the furniture,
his hand hovers 
by the phone;
he will answer now, he says;
he will be the answer.

Tonight he sits down to dinner
at the head of the table
as we eat, mute;
later, he climbs into bed
between us.
 
Even as I sit here,
he stands behind me
clamping two 
colossal hands on my shoulders
and bends down 
and whispers to my neck,
From now on, 
you write about me.

From Slamming Open the Door by Kathleen Sheedar Bonanno. Copyright © 2009 by Kathleen Sheedar Bonanno. Used by permission of Alice James Books. All rights reserved.

From Slamming Open the Door by Kathleen Sheedar Bonanno. Copyright © 2009 by Kathleen Sheedar Bonanno. Used by permission of Alice James Books. All rights reserved.

Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno

Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno was born in Reading, Pennsylvannia. She received her BA in English and MA in education from Temple University. She is the author of Slamming Open the Door (Alice James Books, 2009), a collection of poems about the murder of her daughter in 2003; the poet Sharon Olds called this book "a gift of power, truth, rage and beauty." Bonanno received a grant from the Knight Foundation to help establish Musehouse: A Center for Literary Arts in Philadelphia. She also served as a contributing editor to the American Poetry Review.