Angela Voras-Hills’ Louder Birds, her debut collection of poetry, is a beautiful study of the natural world, motherhood, and the inherent desire for meaning. This collection of complex lyric poems hold a haunting absence at its center, an absence that is “impossible to navigate.” Yet Voras-Hills presses on, untangling the distinctions that surround her (home and the road, human and animal, domestic and wild) with both bravery and respect. Voras-Hills writes, “The boundaries between home and the road / are insecure: it’s impossible to navigate this landscape. / We’ve all been in the presence of something dark / and have chosen not to seek shelter.” As the poet hones in on naming the void, her surroundings grow more threatening—but not once does she surrender or turn back. Voras-Hills’ poems are smart enough to know the distinctions themselves are tenuous at best, and wise enough to know that we must always pay our dues to the world beyond our door. Wondrous, ruminative, and revelatory, Louder Birds is a collection that is not to be missed.
Praise for Louder Birds:
“Reading Louder Birds—inhabiting its landscapes, both external and internal—reminds me of what poems can do.”
—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones
“Angela Voras-Hills’ Louder Birds is a wondrous book, one that draws us, irresistibly, into a world where we confront the tangled consequences of yearning and innocence. Rarely is such a close and careful watching of the world coupled with such a hungry willingness to “tear into it like bread.” Just as ice fishermen hoist “pike up through icy holes—their shiny bodies struggling as they are pulled by their lips into sky,” so too do these fierce and fecund poems tug me, palpably, toward transcendence. I’m reminded of the ache and splendor of living as a body in this world, that the only heaven we’re promised is the one we have here.”
—Michael Bazzett, author of The Interrogation
“Voras-Hills knows how to tear into a day like bread, to dwell in those moments of being where her lyric lines slip through memory’s flexible time. Though these poems take on difficulties and even tragedies, I am consoled by the wisdom in every line that asks—unflinchingly—what it means to make a life in such precarious and miraculous bodies. Take this book and take heart. This poet knows the weight of every minute.”
—Traci Brimhall, author of Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod