Kerry Ryan’s first collection of poems, The Sleeping Life, was published by The Muses’ Company in 2008 and was nominated for the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry in 2009. Her poems have appeared in anthologies and journals such as Prairie Fire, Grain, Room and Carousel. Her second collection, Vs., about her foray into the world of amateur boxing, was released by Anvil Press in fall, 2010.
Kerry writes: There are all kinds of parallels between writing and boxing – the mental/physical toughness, the solitariness of the pursuit, the guts (or foolishness) to get back up after you’ve hit the mat. Both offer moments of exhilaration and times when you feel like you’ve been punched repeatedly in the gut. Each, in its own way, is a fine art.
Books, too, share attributes with boxers, and writers send them into the ring to fight or flounder. For this list, I’ve chosen books I consider heavyweight champs – ones that balance brawn with finesse. It is neither an exhaustive nor diverse group (it skews toward novel, prairie, kids and – appropriately enough – war), but these selections have all, in one way or another, knocked me out.