Winner of the 2015 Anita Claire Scharf Award.
Many of the poems in Separate Flights are about perspective: a child’s view of her neighborhood from the shifting altitudes of a small plane, the dying Keats looking out his window at life going on without him, a deadly hot air balloon crash that appears beautiful to a passenger flying far above it, Monet in his garden continuing to paint the willows within earshot of the German guns. In these poems birds appear both as part of nature and as messengers: the heron flying over a sick woman’s house, the goldfinch arriving as unexpectedly as an idea, the owl nesting in winter and calling forth spring. Whether their focus is nature or human consciousness, the poems in Separate Flights pay attention to the ways in which angle of vision alters our perceptions of the world.
“Patricia Hooper’s poems sneak up on the reader and stun. I am always amazed at how quietly she moves through natural and domestic landscapes, noticing everything, bringing whatever is small and beautiful into exquisite focus, and then zooms straight to the heart. I read and re-read her, and I recommend her poems to everyone I know.”
“In this new prize-winning collection, Patricia Hooper continues to write magnificent poems—quiet poems, stealthy poems, poems of shimmering insight and intelligence.”
–Dannye Romine Powell
Charlotte Observer, “Reading Matters”
“I’m taken by how lightly (but effectively) Ms. Hooper’s poems wear their Big Ideas: beauty versus devastation, and the effects of context and perspective upon that battle. Ideas aside, it’s a small pleasure to hear the music of her language. One obvious example in her prize-winning poem ‘The View from There’ would be the track of ‘fall’ and ‘all’ and ‘skull’ and ‘beautiful’ in the final stanza, but deft examples of lovely sound and rhythm occur throughout this beautiful collection.”