Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems, 1990 to 2013 (Io Poetry)

December 8, 2020
Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems, 1990 to 2013 (Io Poetry)

BJ Ward, an award-winning poet whose poetry and essays have beenfeatured on National Public Radio and in publications suchas The Sun Magazine, TriQuarterly, The Literary Review,and the New York Times, has brought together in one volumethe fruits of his labor spanning over twenty years. Winner of the2014 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, this rich collectionof thoughtful and often ironic reflections reveals both thereverence and irreverence of human experience. JacklegOpera contains material from Ward's three previous booksLanding in New Jersey with Soft Hands, 17 Love Poems with NoDespair, and Gravedigger's Birthday, as well asthirty-five new poems that are reminiscent of the clear simplestyle of Poet Laureate Billy Collins.Under the ElmWe left the party, walked / beneath a moon that seemed / more aspotlight than night, / until we found a tree. / We pressed againstit / and the grass rose against us, / the sky continued to darken,/ and soon days, weeks, migrations, / and metamorphoses passed / aswe kissed ourselves out / of our bored lives. / Us—two thousandmiles away now, / the grass still growing wild around our feet."In poems that both honor and transcend his blue-collar roots,BJ Ward blends poignancy and humor with downright goodstorytelling, and takes his place among the brightest voices of hisgeneration."—Stephen Dunn, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize forPoetry