Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place


Product Details

Blue Light Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.3 inches | 0.43 pounds

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About the Author

Lucille Lang Day has published ten poetry collections and chapbooks, including BECOMING AN ANCESTOR and Dreaming of Sunflowers: Museum Poems. She is a coeditor of FIRE AND RAIN: ECOPOETRY OF CALIFORNIA and RED INDIAN ROAD WEST: NATIVE AMERICAN POETRY FROM CALIFORNIA and the author of two children's books, Chain Letter and THE RAINBOW ZOO, as well as a memoir, Married at Fourteen: A True Story. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, and her many honors include the Joseph Henry Jackson Award in Literature, the Blue Light Poetry Prize, two PEN Oakland Awards, and nine Pushcart nominations. She received her BA in biological sciences, MA in zoology, and PhD in science/mathematics education at the University of California, Berkeley, and her MA in English and MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University.


The seventy-four poems in Lucille Lang Day's Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place take the reader on a journey across continents, seas, and time itself. Charged with a lyricism that is at the same time tough and vulnerable, the poems recreate and preserve images of a beauty that is on the verge of disappearing or has already disappeared. Sometimes it is the beauty of the rain forests of Costa Rica or the birds of the Galápagos or that of cities like Athens, San Miguel de Allende, or Venice in flood. Sometimes it is a beauty that exists only in a single word such as "Oregon, ...from wauregan, an Algonquian word for 'beautiful river.'" Yet for all the beauty she evokes, Day does not shy away from difficult topics like global warming, genocide, regret, loss, and death. The result is a remarkable collection of poems that are deeply layered, deeply felt, and deeply moving.

-- Mary Mackey, Author of The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams: New and Selected Poems, 2019 Eric Hoffer Award for Best Book Published by a Small Press

In Birds of San Pancho, Lucille Lang Day looks at a bird and wonders "about the meaning of each moment / and how to hold it..." The language is simply gorgeous throughout the book: "The ocean, a turquoise taffeta shawl, / falls on sand shoulders lit by a moon / radiant as a trillion-ton pearl / on a silken scarf of pink and maroon." One poem ends, "igniting a blaze of amazement," and that is what this book does, with poem after poem making us aware of the glories of the natural world which we are rapidly losing, forcing us to wake up, and go down on our knees in awestruck wonder.

-- Barbara Crooker, Author of The Book of Kells, Best Poetry Book 2018 Award from Poetry by the Sea, and Some Glad Morning

What a rich and celebratory book is Lucille Lang Day's Birds of San Pancho. A trained scientist as well as a prolific poet and anthologist, she brings to her experience a vast curiosity, an intimate knowledge of flora and fauna, and a keen appreciation for the things of this world--travel, food, weather, the manifold creatures, love.

- Ann Fisher-Wirth, Author of The Bones of Winter Birds and Mississippi, Coeditor of The Ecopoetry Anthology

Very few poets possess the acute observational power on display in Lucille Lang Day's Birds of San Pancho. In lyric, narrative, and meditative forms, Day's curiosity and love for the world radiate from every page. The life affirming vision in this book makes it a perfect read for our fraught time.

-- David Roderick, Author of Blue Colonial and The Americans, Cofounder and Codirector of Left Margin LIT