top of page


By Helen Ruggieri

Perfect-bound paperback | 5.5 x 8.5 | 130 pages | June 4, 2024 | 978-1961864146

Poetry | Birds | Eco-poetry | Eco-lit | Nature


Helen Ruggieri brings us Blue Elegies, a collection of poems about the birds. It is the eighth volume in the ongoing Sea Crow Press collection of eco-poetry. The poems witness and pay homage to the many bird species vanishing in a rapidly changing world. Her words place us amongst the birds, rendering their lives and the places they inhabit real to involve us on a person level.


swallows capering

in the purple twilight—

the life


Blue Elegies: Poems

  • "An avian ode that migrates and mitigates through a lifetime of experiences.  It is a moving tribute to a life well-lived, all its hopes and heartache.  The careful observation and attention of our winged neighbors provides a thought-provoking metaphor for the cycle of life giving the reader a personal bird's-eye view from the poet's perspective."

    —TAK Erzinger, poet winner of the University of Indianapolis  2021Whirling Prize


    “This investigation of beauty and truth revels in ambiguity with emotions rendered as delicately as falling snow.”

    —Carol Lynne Knight, author of Quantum Entanglement


    “This is a travelogue by someone who can see and feel. And the haiku are wonderful!”

    —David Budbill, author of Happy Life


    The Kingdom Where Everybody Sings Off Key

    “Remarkable, really, the way Helen Ruggieri moves from her life's early music when she was a teen angel with a Jersey Girl's desires; it was always 1955 with Little Richard & Elvis & doo-wop ? to, for example, the mature & spiritual reconciliations with the past that we hear in her penultimate poem in which she realizes "the larger rhythms rocking us" & embraces/makes a part of her being that "crepuscular kingdom / where no one keeps time." Yearning & yearning for the past subside, & the poet stands whole, in an off-key but deeply human twilight of poetry & deep understanding. This is a hard-earned, wonderful book.”

    —William Heyen, author of Shoah Train


    Camping in the Galaxy

    “This collection gives a strong sense of the land that was, the land that is, and the land that could be. It explores myth and science, overlapping one with the other, using each to illuminate the other. It is definitely a book for the twenty-first century, where the sheer romantic immersion in nature no longer seems realistic to us, although we long for it still.”

    —Janet McCann, Mom Egg Review


    “Ruggieri’s work is immediate, sensual and direct.. not the place to go looking for a warm and fuzzy interpretation of nature. These pieces are mythic, natural, personal, and scientific all at once. Some are short essays and some are haibun, but they provide an unusual sense of place and interpretation of what it is like to be observer and participant in the world.”

    —Walt McLaughlin, Woodthrush Books


    The Kingdom Where No One Keeps Time

    “This book is about loss parents, lovers, friends, pets, all those whose absence is felt strongly. Loss is approached through myth, through despair, through sensory detail like the empty hollow in the bed, or from the viewpoint of the shoes abandoned in the closet.”

    —Good Times

  • Helen Ruggieri grew up in a series of small towns in New York and Pennsylvania, graduating from Penn State University and continuing her studies at St Bonaventure University. She published her first poem in the English Journal and since has had over 200 poems in magazines and anthologies.

    With her late husband Ford she edited a little magazine (Uroboros) for five years receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Between writing poems and teaching she has birthed three children and raised two dogs, and attempted to keep her 100-year-old house from disintegrating.

    She is a master gardener and has a black sash in tai chi.

    Since retiring she has led workshops for the Mental Health Association, the African American Center for Cultural Development and organized reading series in bars, libraries, furniture stores and just about any underutilized spaces in the area. The TriCounty Arts Council selected her for a lifetime achievement award.

Titles You May Also Like