← Back to book main page

Full Review from The Malahat Review

Bonfires is Chris Banks' impressive debut. His writing is self-assured and, as a whole, the book seems like poetry that has developed over time. I sense that Banks did not rush into print, and these poems are tightly edited and carefully crafted. He has a knack for the sharp image, like the description of two hawks in "In the Direction of Little Towns" that circle each other as though there were "some invisible blade held firmly between their talons." That is the kind of image that resonates because of its precision, and Banks' poems are full of such moments. His subjects are predominantly domestic: family, small towns, and impressions while traveling. Though some of the poems in Bonfires are less substantial than others, all are well made and worthy of inclusion. He manages to make even small observations seem important.
—Jay Ruzesky, Malahat Review