Poetry may in fact be the only way we can talk about gun violence. — Katelynne Shimkus
A powerful call to end American gun violence from celebrated poets and those most impacted
Focused intensively on the crisis of gun violence in America, this volume brings together poems by dozens of our best-known poets, including Billy Collins, Patricia Smith, Natalie Diaz, Ocean Vuong, Danez Smith, Brenda Hillman, Natasha Threthewey, Robert Hass, Naomi Shihab Nye, Juan Felipe Herrera, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, and Yusef Komunyakaa.
Each poem is followed by a response from a gun violence prevention activist, political figure, survivor, or concerned individual, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams; Senator Christopher Murphy; Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts; survivors of the Columbine, Sandy Hook, Charleston Emmanuel AME, and Virginia Tech shootings; and Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir, and Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis.
The result is a stunning collection of poems and prose that speaks directly to the heart and a persuasive and moving testament to the urgent need for gun control.
About the Author
Colum McCann is the bestselling author of six novels including the National Book Award-winning Let the Great World Spin, TransAtlantic, and Thirteen Ways of Looking.
Brian Clements is the author, most recently, of A Book of Common Rituals. He lives in Newtown, Connecticut, where his wife, a teacher, survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Alexandra Teague is the author of two books of poetry—Mortal Geography, winner of the California Book Award for Poetry, and The Wise and Foolish Builders.
Dean Rader is the author of two books of poetry, most recently Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, and editor of 99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poetry.
“Passionate, thoughtful, informed and persuasive, this poetry collection is art and activism in its rawest form.” —Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
“This anthology is best considered slowly, paged through with time enough to pause and reflect, to consider these truths, greater than any headline or statistic can deliver.” —Booklist, Starred Review
“While one might argue such a collection runs the risk of poeticizing violence, of indulging nostalgia for a nonexistent peaceful past, Bullets into Bells succeeds in quite the opposite. Instead of romanticizing suffering, particularly a kind that disproportionately affects marginalized groups, the book’s contributors work to ‘untangle’ and communicate what Colum McCann describes in his introduction as ‘the intricate nuances of that suffering.’” —Ploughshares
“This is not an easy book to read, nor should it be . . . . Bullets into Bells deserves a wide audience, especially after the recent massacre in Parkland, Florida.” —Rain Taxi
“It’s remarkable when a book of poetry that is so self-contained, fulfilling its own purposes so completely, but it’s a rare event when any book can be this relevant, this useful to our social conversation.” —American Microreviews & Interviews
“The poetry is rich with imagery, overflowing with sorrow, but almost never trite or predictable . . . [The editors] have created an important book, which informs and elevates the discussion. It’s so sad that we need it, but so important that we have it.” —Poetry Flash
“Extraordinary . . . a stunning call and response of a book.” —The Rumpus