Tough words from Edison Jennings on how to survive “the coming of claws and snapping teeth,” and how to reckon our course through “the plenty of loss.” No whine in this voice, no plead for succor–these hardhitting poems come from a man who insists with lyrical clarity that we live in concert with all that makes us quicken. The poem, “Old Bitch and Bone,” demonstrates this wisdom. “Crack the shaft,” he writes, “and fang the fat, gristle and marrow.”
— Julie Suk, Lie Down With Me: New and Selected Poems, The Dark Takes Aim (Autumn House)
Edison Jennings’s stately, courteous, richly meaningful lines carry their precious burdens lightly. Those burdens include the ultimate reckoning, and his clear vision of them is, like the North Star he describes in “Spherical Trepidation,” “glinting like a battered nail / from which the weight of heaven swings, / and nothing holds the nail in place / except the void it’s stuck in.” Jennings’s lines movingly evoke both the gravest realities and the pleasure of everyday exertions and emotions. These poems are an accomplishment that I treasure and to which I will return.
— Reginald Gibbons, Creatures of a Day (LSU Press), National Book Award finalist
These poems knock me flat.
— T.R. Hummer, Ephemeron, Southern Messenger Poets Series (LSU Press)