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Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, Musehouse founder and director, is an award-winning author and poet who received the Beatrice Hawley Award for her book of poetry, Slamming Open the Door, published by Alice James Books in April, 2009 and is the #9 best-seller for contemporary poetry in 2009.
Slamming Open the Door is a collection of poems recounting the true story of the murder of her daughter, Leidy Bonanno, in 2003.

Two of the poems from Slamming were nominated for a Push Cart Prize. Kathleen is a contributing editor of The American Poetry Review, her poetry has been published in Women's Review of Books, Margie and Anthology:Beloved on the Earth which includes poems by Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver and Denise Levertov. Her recent book tour has included universities, conferences and bookstores throughout the U.S.

Kathleen was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer in June, 2011, was interviewed by Terry Gross for NPR's nationally syndicated Fresh Air, featured in Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac and is one of 67 recipients of a 2011 Knights Art Foundation Grant for Musehouse, a literary arts center in Philadelphia.

The poet Sharon Olds calls Slamming Open the Door "a gift of power, truth, rage and beauty." David Kirby in the New York Times Book Review says, "Readers will have to step outside of a familiar, comforting tradition of poetic grief while reading this book ... to read this book is not to behold a completed work but to stand onstage with a writer who finds herself in the middle of a story in which she has been reluctantly cast."

Kathleen has been an active member of the Unitarian Society of Germantown for more than 25 years, and was recently featured in the UU World Magazine. In 2007, Kathleen received the Purple Ribbon Award from the Lutheran Settlement Home for her advocacy on behalf of domestic violence issues.

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