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Night Ladder by Lois P. Jones

Aug 20, 2017

Lois P. Jones is a woman we’ve been honored to get to know (a wee little bit) during this last year. On the other hand, Jones is well known by many thanks to her work hosting KPFK’s Poets Café for the past ten years and co-hosting Moonday Poetry in La Cañada. She’s also Poetry Editor for the Kyoto Journal and in spring of 2017 received the Bristol Poetry Prize.

Jones’ most recent accomplishment is receiving the 2017 Best Book Award from Glass Lyre Press for her first collection of poems Night Ladder.

In his review, Ron Starbuck, publisher and editor of Saint Julian Press calls Night Ladder “a book composed in gracious poetic thought and verse.… Flowing throughout these pages is a symphony of verses and an orchestra of songs.” Jones’ poems are “astonishing in their grace (and) compelling in their beauty.”¹

Here is a poet who dares everything—she sings, she philosophizes, she converses with the dead—to bring us closer, impossibly, to what we have lost. “I will be the spirit of your / departed,” she writes. And so she is, in every haunted line, but she is also a guide to our arriving—in this world, where the living is.
—Joseph Fasano, author of Vincent²

Brian Turner is an Army veteran who served in Bosnia and Iraq. The New York Times states that he’s “written two well-received  poetry collections about his deployments,” as well as a “stunning war memoir.”³

In reviewing Jones’ Night Ladder, Turner writes, “There is a timelessness to these poems, a conversation with the present as well as with Lorca, Rilke, Picasso, and more—as if the voice of this book has slipped the temporal bounds that tether most voices to a date in history, a moment in time.… You’ll likely read these poems in quiet solitude, and then, I hope, you’ll want to share them aloud with someone you love.”

 

 

 

Ways to Paint a Woman

  after a portrait by Ali-Al Ameri

Sometimes only color can speak
for the heart.

Sometimes you must paint it yellow—
listen with the eyes: honeycomb and maize,

golden rainflowers.
Transform with your softest brush

the way Lorca’s bathing girl liquefies
into water – half a head in fire,

sun burning a trail from forehead to cheek.
Graze the mouth with mango. Make time to blend

and take away. Use the green of a blind man
when he says you’re beautiful

and means you’re timeless.
Show what the light gave her

washing warmth into a neck
until it’s dune, a cliffside

that holds a head of surf.
Paint as you would before you awaken,

when sunlight falls like milkweed
and you are an empty silo

letting her grain fill you –
buttery malt and biscuit

for the love of honey

 

 

The official book launch of Night Ladder is scheduled at the one and only Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse on November 5. Details may be found at the event Facebook page.

For more about Night Ladder and to purchase a copy, please visit Glass Lyre Press.

 

~~~

 

 

¹ “Night Ladder: Saint Julian Press Book Review” by Ron Starbuck.

² “With Vincent, Joseph Fasano Offers 80 Pages of Exquisite Evil” by P. Sauerteig, Nov. 8, 2016, Litro.co.UK.

³ “My Life as a Foreign Country by Brian Turner” by Jen Percy, Jan. 9, 2015, The New York Times.




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