Oni Buchanan is the author of Spring, selected by Mark Doty for the 2007 National Poetry Series, and published by the University of Illinois Press in September 2008. Her first poetry book, What Animal, was published in 2003 by the University of Georgia Press. Oni is also a concert pianist, and actively performs across the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Boston, where she maintains a private piano teaching studio.
"Representing nothing less than a tour-de-force of formal invention and emotional intensity, Oni Buchanan's Spring encompasses radically contrasting work. Ecstatic, visually intricate rhapsodies are juxtaposed with tight, sonnet-like poems, and wispy columns of verse brush up against large-scale epics and kinetic text."
All of the formal innovations in this book have in common an urgent need for texture and polyphony, and the poems attempt to discover how to fulfill the individual human responsibility of surviving as a resiliently loving and hopeful living creature.
Dear Lonely Animal,
I'm writing to you from the loneliest, most
secluded island in the world. I mean,
the farthest away place from anything else.
There are so many fruits here growing on trees
or on vines that wrap and wrap. Fruits
like I've never seen except the bananas.
All night the abandoned dogs howled.
I wonder if one dog gives the first howl, and if
they take turns who's first like carrying
the flag in school. Carrying the flag
way out in front and the others
following along behind in two long lines,
pairs holding hands. Also the roosters here crow
from 4am onward. They're still crowing right now
and it's almost noon here on the island.