The Summer of Dead Birds

The Summer of Dead Birds by Ali Liebegott

In a chronicle of mourning and survival, Ali Liebegott wallows in loneliness and overassigns meaning to everyday circumstance, clinging to an aging dog and obsessing over dead birds. But these unpretentious vignettes are laced with compassion, as she learns to balance the sting of death with the tender strangeness of life.

Author: Ali Liebegott | Publisher: Feminist Press

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Rating: 5/5

I impulse-purchased this book after seeing it on Feminist Press’ Instagram channel. I’ve never disliked anything they published, and it looked beautiful, so I bought it. A+ DECISION, DEEDI. The Summer of Dead Birds was a heartbreakingly beautiful story told in poems that I will surely lend to many people and read several times over.

Ali Liebegott hits the nail on the head with this collection’s themes of grief, loss, fear, and love. Each poem is the type that you get halfway through reading and want to start over again, because you know that you need to savor the words and meaning more, but you can’t stop halfway because you’re so drawn in, and so you finish it and then read it again. And maybe a third time for good measure.

At only about 100 pages, the collection is short and will probably take you about an hour to read. Be prepared for that to be an emotional hour, in the best way. I read it on my commute, the first half in the morning and the second half in the evening. But by the time I got to work, I was emotional and sad and wanted to stay that way for a little while. So when I do it all again, I’ll make sure I’m on my couch with a blanket and a cup of coffee or glass of wine (depending on the time of day), and I’ll read it straight through.

Give yourself the gift of this collection. You won’t regret it.

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