"RADIAL BLOOM is unlike any book I've ever read—shimmering with ghosts, rich with empathy, and alive with the possibilities of love and loss. This adroit slip of a book will haunt me for a long time, and I'm so grateful for the haunting."
"In this verse novel, we follow the bewitching journey of a woman whose life becomes entangled with a visiting ghost. Befriended, loved, and borrowed for his wounds, we traverse, prayer by prayer, along “the ridgelines, the movement of the stars.” Amy Ratto Parks bestows unto us a body of “thin air,” which is, “any air we fall through,” where hellish muses, gifts, and otherworldly forces may come before us, troubled and far from sin. In a world teeming with familiar devastations, charted and uncharted, Radial Bloom is a body of dreams, “blowing smoke into the cold night, blowing…like rescue…like love… [like] the long bell of evening.” As we descend below waters, we are astonished that somewhere in a field of honeysuckle lives a song moored in our hearts—a song of wrought paradise, “throwing knives, throwing knives into trees.”
"What if the Muse arrives "all biceps and brawn...in a leather jacket of disinterest," holding a golden gun he puts to your heart? In this potent fever-dream of a conceit, Amy Ratto-Parks not only radicalizes the paradigm, she enacts the brutal consequences, both existential and quotidian, of responding to the call. Classically speaking Radial Bloom is a descent, an urgent journey into the interior that is never top-heavy--imagine Julian of Norwich, Baudelaire, and John Wayne sitting at the bar with Dante pouring shots--and is impossible to put down."
"The remaking of the self—be it through mania, depression, obsession, or heartache—can be an otherworldly experience, rendered here in Radial Bloom as a cinematic and transcendent act. For those of us tucked safely into a life that has been domesticated by a partner or children, there is the tendency to wonder where that person we were before has disappeared to. We wonder not about long-gone pleasures, but about longing itself, a kind of yearning that attended and sustained us for years with its sweet, familiar pain. The answer is that it’s all still there, inside us, like it’s always been. A lingering ache in the gut, a punch that still reverberates like distant thunder on a cloudless day. Amy Ratto Parks is the antidote to the part of us that reflexively dismisses our more complicated selves. This book is her big middle class, mid-life, multi-layered, mommy middle finger raised high, and I will follow it anywhere, especially right off this safe little cliff I’ve been perched on for years."