Review: Agapornis Swinderniana

Nicole Tommasulo
The Coil
Published in
2 min readJul 1, 2016

Paula Cary
32 pages
5 ½” x 8” saddle-stapled chapbook with full-color laid cover
First Edition
Dancing Girl Press
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Available HERE
Review originally published on 2/27/15

There are a few major relationship milestones many people look forward to in their lives that are often summed up with the moment your significant other proposes and the day of your wedding. People often forget that these relationships are built on days shared together, of meals and memories that outsiders have no idea about. They might see pictures, might hear second-hand retellings of a day you and your spouse (or significant other) shared, but those small moments that you two have together are yours and yours alone. Paula Cary gives us a glimpse into these moments in her collection of poems, Agapornis Swinderniana.

Paula opens her collection with the note:

Agapornis Swinderniana is the rarest kind of lovebird and can be found in Africa[,]

setting the tone for the poems that follow, which concerns writing that captures snapshots of moments spent together and uses rich imagery and, at times, the humor that comes along with sharing a space together. In the poem, “My Hero,” Cary writes:

and whispers in the curve of my ear:
“I’ll do the laundry.”

It is these little things that Cary has chosen to include that touch home, and in a way that makes the reader smile, if not laugh. In “Forbidden Breakfast,” she ends the poem with the lines:

We’re happy and giddy
Like the five year olds
Our inner children are[,]

which really touches on those special moments, those silly moments, that you end up sharing with that one person. Agapornis Swinderniana had me smiling and remembering the moments that I’ve shared with my husband over our years together, and excited at the prospect of making more of these memories with him in the future.



Nicole Tommasulo
The Coil

writer, poet, book reviewer • seen on MSN, AP Wire, The List, Hello Giggles, Femsplain, xoJane, Heels Down Magazine, etc. • For writing: