by Beth Bonness
Finalist in The Poetry Box Chapbook Prize, 2021
All her life Beth Bonness tingled with the sight of approaching thunderstorms—watching them over the wide expanse of a lake or far away mountains—the electrifying steel blue background with the sun on her back reflecting an eerie Tuscan yellow light of a childhood-giggled “storm’s a coming” cast on unsuspecting trees and anything else between you and the rain, the thunder and lighting, and unexpected life events that soak you to the bone. The poems in Transition Thunderstorms are about life’s soaking you to the bone.
About the Author
Beth Bonness grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the eldest of six girls. She moved to the Pacific Northwest with her Computer Science degree and her husband, where they raised their three daughters. She fell in love with the beach and enjoyed climbing Mt. Hood, once. After decades working in product development and marketing (and one too many acquisitions) she said “good-bye” to high-tech corporate culture…to write.
Her poems have appeared in The Timberline Review, Typehouse Magazine, and Friday’s on the Boulevard. Two of her short film scripts made it to the Willamette Writers FiLMLaB quarterfinals. She is currently working on a post-stroke memoir about saving a 100-year-old mansion with her husband, and a psychological thriller screenplay about sub-conscious personalities. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and writes early in the morning before she wakes up too much.
LinkedIn: Beth Bonness
Early Praise for Transition Thunderstorms:
You want to say “apple” and it comes out “orange.” Your hand has turned into a useless claw. You hope it has simply fallen asleep, but you suspect you are having a stroke. In Transition Thunderstorms, poet Beth Bonness takes us inside the stroke victim’s mind with poems playfully organized on the page to show how in the midst of a thunderstorm or a stroke, the normal rules do not apply. Her “thanksgiving with a side of no thank you” poems show the fear and frustration, the outer and inner struggles with rare honesty and clarity. These are spiced with side dishes about sneezes, nose piercing, love, and death to create a delicious feast for the reader.
—Sue Fagalde Lick, president, Oregon Poetry Association,
author of Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano
Anyone who has had a stunning body-breakdown can relate to Beth Bonness’ exquisitely written journey into (and thru) the thunderstorms in her brain. Her words resonate with fierce beauty, angst and resilience.
—Anne Mendel, award-winning author of Etiquette for an Apocalypse
Beth Bonness writes from the depths of her soul’s experience. With the finesse of a true poet, she invites the seeker to the pinch point of their pain, then, having walked the path herself, coaxes the reader through to greater understanding and self-acceptance. With extraordinary alchemy, and a shared sense of empathy and relief, Bonness leaves the reader transformed.
Transition Thunderstorms offers breathtaking insights into life events we find hard to talk about with the people we love most. The book is a tender and honest lifeline to reconnection. Her poetry articulates truths of recovery with gentleness and compassion and resonates hope.
—Roxanne Colyer, award-winning artist, writer, and bio-energy healer