“Judy Kronenfeld’s new collection is a rare treasure that looks back, looks in and pierces into the present. Memoria, eros, aging, death and the miraculous tracings of Kronenfeld’s “blessed wounds” are in motion—that is, the body, time and space of her immigrant Jewish roots, her parents, her Bronx. Full of heart and “astonishing messages” (and rage at the violence of these times), family close-ups, woman-portraits and fearless writing, this is a poetry we must read, carefully, intimately. Bravo, Judy! One of a brave kind.”
 Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States
“The best poetry stops time, cherishes the past, witnesses the present and holds them up to the light where their specific music edges the metaphysical. Bird Flying through the Banquet does exactly that. The ‘50s, the poet’s young life, the lives of parents and relatives, their long histories, are returned in loving and keen attention to the particulars of a world almost lost if not for art. These poems attest to the significance of each life which is “utterly, beautifully, unremarkable.” Judy Kronenfeld fearlessly confronts mortality and writes a resonant and important hymn to life.”
 Christopher Buckley
“Reading this book floods the aviary of the mind with color and sound. Kronenfeld’s precise, textured images move easily among the realms of memory, art, narrative and the sensorium of direct experience. Alert, humorous and human, Kronenfeld is wise but not too timid to draw the blade of irony across our cheeks, to wake us with a blood-tipped feather as honest as the crows crowding around a deer, as delicate as a flock of orioles landing on a single leaf. ”
 Chad Sweeney
 

“Sometimes Kronenfeld’s subject is the ineffable itself, the permanent in the transitory, the missing in what remains—the sparrow’s all too brief but still exquisite journey. At other times, she foregrounds her immigrant experience, captured in the trope of the peasant gathering of Bruegel’s painting,  . . .  more pot-luck than fine dining.  . . .  Kronenfeld bring[s] together a series of poems that are both celebratory and richly peopled by person and places from her memory cupboard.”

“Bird Flying is an intensely visual collection with a palette that ranges from the concrete to the imaginary, from the ‘cracked sidewalks flashing mica’ of ‘My Long-Left Birth City,’ where the ‘newsstand, candy store, barbershop’ are ‘utterly, beautifully, unremarkable,’ to the mental vista of ‘Rothko Dark,’ where after ‘long looking . . . giving oneself to darkness / faintly lightens it.’”

“Mercy and compassion are far more prominent in these poems than complaint, which is not to say that the speaker is always content—far from it. There is a restless, probing energy in every poem, exploring and seeking answers, however elusive. Nevertheless, Kronenfeld locates the grandeur and consequence in apparently inconsequential lives, and in so doing, rescues us all. You will feel more alive for having read her poems.”

 Richard Nester, North of Oxford

“The bird flying through this book’s banquet  . . .  is not simply an investigation of mortality: Rather, this book’s bird is memory and the ways in which memory ripples through physical, emotional, and cultural experience: memory of place, nationality, kindred, language, touch.”

“Kronenfeld’s language holds a precise, balanced tension against its lines in more tightly constrained poems,  . . .  but the looser, lusher form of the prose poem illustrates not only the myriad mechanics of the mind, but also the imaginative force of memory within that mental machine.”

“In the poems of Bird Flying through the Banquet,  . . .  Judy Kronenfeld allows and prompts memory to enter into her speakers’ investigations of loss and life—‘glittering’ as briefly as the bright knife of a bird’s wings.”

 Grace Gardiner, Mom Egg Review