Bonnie studies premodern Japanese poetry, focusing on medieval waka and renga. She is interested in cognitive and affective aspects of medieval poetics, including metaphor, synesthetic expression, and changing ways of framing emotional experience in poetry. She is also interested in the pathways of intertextual transfer that facilitate poetic developments in the medieval period. Bonnie received a B.A. in classical piano performance from Birmingham-Southern College and an M.A. in Japanese literature from the University of Washington. She also spent several years studying renga at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo before coming to Berkeley.