How Birds Sing (2008)

Kay Ryan
How Birds Sing (2008)
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"Poetry should leave you feeling freer and not more burdened. I like to think of all good poetry as providing more oxygen in the atmosphere. Poems just make it easier to breathe." - Kay Ryan


Poem by Kay Ryan Book design by Tucker Nichols. The book production was coordinated by Katherine Case with printing and binding assistance of SFCB volunteers.


Edition of 200, produced in 2008, 9 pages with 6 illustrations, book is 4 x 4 in.  


Letterpress printed at the San Francicso Center for the Book on a Vandercook 4 press. Heavyweight paper cover printed in one color, with accordion fold interior of illustrations and poem also printed in one color. This book is hand-bound through the cover at the spine. 

ARTIST BIO: Ryan was born in 1945 in San Jose, and grew up in small towns in the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert, where her father found work as a prospector and oil well driller. She went to UCLA, earning a bachelors and a masters degree, and moved to Marin County in 1971, becoming a poet somewhat reluctantly. Her epiphany came during a cross-country bicycle journey. Since then, for more than 30 years, she has focused on writing poetry while teaching remedial English part time at College of Marin in Kentfield.


One of Ryan's poems - How Birds Sing - is permanently installed at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. Ryan's work has appeared in four editions of The Best American Poetry and in three Pushcart Prizes anthologies. She has also received a 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, a 2001 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the 2000 Union League Poetry Prize and the Maurice English Poetry Award. Kay Ryan was appointed the Library of Congresses sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in 2008. Kay Ryanâ's poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, and other periodicals. The recipient of numerous accolades, including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches at the College of Marin.  See her website here.