Praise for In the Open:
These are some of the strongest poems I know–tough without meanness or complaint, new knowledge and the language to carry it.
Grace Paley, author of Fidelity: Poems
Bea Gates is a discoverer. Her poems of the lost and the found are transparently true to the time we live in. They move us because she has endured until she found words steady enough to present them.Major contemporary themes–eros, AIDS, child abuse, friendship, homelessness–emerge free of cliche from the hush of her unflinching awareness. Her language is wonderfully lucid–modest and dazzling, so that we see our crimes and privileges in her view, rising out of her anguished love-affair with the real world. Her landscapes are intensely alive, peopled by those who are suffering and stricken by hope. Her discoveries allow us to imagine what else there is, once we refuse the dual anesthesia of shock and despair.
Marie Ponsot, author of The Bird Catcher and The Green Dark
Beatrix Gates writes with “terrible clarity” about loss and mortality, her great themes. Her poems are startlingly beautiful in their imagery and craft; but they are also shocking in their nakedness. This is a poet who sees life with a passionate yet unflinching eye.
Jaime Manrique, author of Cervantes StreetMy Night With/ Mi Noche con Federico García Lorca
Bea Gates writes of “the power of loving clear,” and in the tough and clear-eyed poems in this book, she bravely takes the reader to wherever that phrase needs to go. This is a poet who doesn’t blink yet has the power to transform the awkward and dangerous facts of our lives into healing song.
–Cornelius Eady