Poet. Teacher. Speaker.
“Thomas brings precise observation and earned wisdom to poems in which the ‘bitter and the sweet entwine.” – Robin Becker
“These are poems of authority and grace, alive with the pulse of desire and the mystery of our deep connections." – Joan Larkin
88 pages, $18
© 2015 Turning Point
Word Tech Communications
Cover art by Ron Parent
32 pages, $10
c 2016 Headmistress Press
Cover art by Nancy Macko
The finely crafted poems in Waving Back, Gail Thomas’s third collection, examine the ties that both fray and bind us to our families of origin and those of choice. Using language that is clear and startling, meditative and joyful, Thomas’s poems reverberate with musicality and emotion. In our age of distraction, Thomas invites us to listen more closely to the voices of the living and the dead.
Honorable Mention, 2015 New England Book Festival
Must Read for 2016, Massachusetts Center for the Book
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Winner of the Charlotte Mew Prize
The centerpiece of Odd Mercy is “The Little Mommy Sonnets,” a crown of sonnets that carries us poignantly through the life and death of the poet’s mother, as well as their complicated bond over time. I was impressed with Gail Thomas’ dedication to craft, her richness of detail and especially her deft transitions from the end line of one sonnet to the opening line of the next. The challenge here is to repeat the line, but to make it new, to show us another facet, and Thomas does that so skillfully in these poems, propelling us forward through the narrative. Poetry uses words to convey what is beyond words, to say the unsayable. The last line of Odd Mercy expresses this paradox tenderly as the poet reflects on her mother: “your words/now gibberish, your voice always in my head.”
--Ellen Bass, Judge of the Charlotte Mew Prize
Honorable Mention: "The Little Mommy Sonnets"
Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Contest for Traditional Verse, Winning Writers