Feb. 16 Colloquium: Mother’s Poetry Began Days After Daughter’s Death

By Purnell T. Cropper | February 12, 2010

When Joe Barron, a Montgomery News editor, saw that Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno would be speaking at Arcadia University, he instantly made the connection with the tragic death of her daughter, Leidy Bonanno, in 2004. With help from Donna Whitlock in University Relations, Barron wrote a story about Bonanno’s tale, which she tells in a book of poetry titled Slamming Open the Door.

“Within four days of her daughter’s murder, Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno wrote a poem about light seeping through drawn blinds. The light could stand as a symbol of several things: her daughter’s memory, the killer’s guilt, the evidence that will convict him or the simple, undeniable fact that life goes on,” Barron’s article begins. “At the time, Bonanno had no plans to write a book, but as she lived through the police investigation, the trial of the man charged with the murder, and her own grief, Bonanno returned to the theme again and again, and in four years she had written 41 poems on Leidy Bonanno’s life and death.” Read more about his interview with Bonanno.

Don’t miss Bonanno’s address as part of the University Colloquium series on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Grey Towers Castle Mirror Room.