Nest of Thistles, published in 2005 by the University Press of New England, focuses on Annie Boutelle’s childhood in Scotland. Nest of Thistles won the 2005 Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize from Northeastern University Press, an award given annually to an American poet for his or her first or second book of poems. Nest of Thistles is Annie Boutelle’s second book of poems.
In Praise of Nest of Thistles
Eavan Boland, director of the Creative Writing Program, Stanford University, and author of nine volumes of poetry:
These are poems of real lyric wisdom: the music is equal to the lived experience, and the experience has found a true music, all of its own. The ghost of a father, the melody of a ghazal — whatever the surprising, poignant elements here, they all go to making this a compelling, memorable book of poems.
Margot Livesey, author of Criminals, The Missing World, Eva Moves the Furniture, Banishing Verona:
As I read Annie Boutelle’s wise and generous poems, I felt that I was learning how to love the living and the dead, the darkness and the light. Over and over Boutelle transports the reader to a world both fiercely familiar and utterly new, and the results are exhilarating.
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, author of Pharaoh’s Daughter and The Astrakhan Coat:
This volume bears witness to a truly achieved voice and a hard-earned right to language. Like all the best poetry, it is a language full of loss — loss of homeland, childhood loss of a brother and baby sister, loss of father and mother, loss even of language itself. This gives the writing a powerful resonance, a quivering presence like a Highland landscape seen through a summer heat haze. I loved this book from beginning to end, I love its awareness of the constant presence of death and its equally careful enunciation of the exuberant details of life.
Henri Cole, author of five volumes of poetry, including Middle Earth:
Annie Boutelle’s poems are muscular and clean. She writes with her ear. And though death often clings to the edges of them, it unexpectedly breathes life into the surface of things. If you listen, you can hear a heart’s quiet roar.