THE EARLIER BOOKS
Landing in New Jersey With Soft Hands
"In BJ Ward's Landing in New Jersey With Soft Hands each poem is a journey fueled with discovery as we travel roads of Amercia and the heart, trusting always Ward's steady hand upon the wheel. I love the rich diversity of poems such as "The Dying of the Light," with its insistent pathos, or the wry premise of "Shakespeare as a Waiter," and the generous elegance of "Dancing with the Teacher." What unites this stunning debut is Ward's consistent depiction of a world filled with the anguish and promise of "something here, somthing now--that sweet something that won't grasp you or be grasped."
"A new voice: welcome it, BJ Ward's, with a new idion, new accents, new rhythms. Speaking to and for a new generation, the young people of the '90s. This is where it's at now, he says, his voice is rising above the general academic cacophone, and he's right. Singing and squawking, it's beautiful to hear, encouraging to see."
"BJ Ward, in his engaging first book, shows us how irreverence and reverence can be happily housed together, and even may arise from the same source. There's wit in these poems, and a storyteller's gift for apt detail. It's a debut that promises many good things to come."
17 Love Poems with No Despair
"17 Love Poems with No Despair resounds with the voice of a clear, powerful speaker. Ward does not naively deny despair but rather refuses it, making a case to the beloved and to the reader that proffers love as an antidote. This book is an offering of passion wrought with charm and poignancy. Always one is aware of the strength that is required to love long and well."
"In poems that both honor and transcend his blue-collar roots, BJ Ward blends poignancy and humor with downright good storytelling, and takes his place among the bright up-and-coming voices of his generation. It's a pleasure to see and hear that he's become his own poet. Gravedigger's Birthday in his stongest book. It has his signature all over it."
-~ Stephen Dunn, Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
"BJ Ward writes noisy, aggressive, lovely poems full of heart and brawn. Gravedigger's Birthday is a pleasure."
-~Stephen Dobyns, Author of The Porrcupine's Kisses.