Poetry. Women's Studies. WILD ROSES explores the ravishing complexities in the lives of women from the 18th through the 20th centuries, revealing how society's boundaries did not prevent some women from realizing who they were, or what they wanted. These poems celebrate women pirates, outlaws, based on research, but gently depart from the usual historical accounts, because they seem true to those who embraced lives they chose, not necessarily because they came from difficult family lives, but because they followed adventure and traveled seas and desert roads other women only dreamt about. Jan Minich's elegant and honest language re-envision not only brings to readers what these women may have felt, but his attention to their emotional lives is enchanting. This book holds many surprises for the reader. It seems his own soul is intertwined with the voices of these women."WILD ROSES reveals a thoroughly engaging quiet depth with many implications and the often surprising points of view of women on the edges of history. While the voices are both varied and specific, the effect of the characterizations of these women struggling to fulfill their various yet related desires expands to a larger portrait of endurance and determination that defines and characterizes related frontiers as much internal as they are realistic and each one gains from its relationships to the others."Jan Minich has given us not just a collection of fascinating characters but a lyrical and direct region of understanding that opens the complex intersection of historical events and personal desires."—Rich Ives"I have not known that many writers in my life who are in possession of both patience and genius. However, Jan Minich is one of these! Ghost speeches from women easily linked to the Butch Cassidy gang are featured here. These thrown voices trespass on our moment in ways that startle—in ways that are completely memorable. This is a quietly scary book, a great book."—Norman Dubie"In his remarkable new collection, Jan Minich nimbly slips into various female personas and reveals, in spiraling and ever-deepening narratives, the interior desires of outlaw women from Irish pirate Anne Bonny to Etta Place of the Wild Bunch. Brash, unapologetic, the women abandon their hometowns, religion, and prescribed female roles and plunge into the fierce, exquisite landscapes of desert, sea, and prairie to seize the lives they were meant to live. Each thrives, briefly, like the wild rose, in all its feminine splendor, its barbed violence."—Shanan Ballam
Jan Minich was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and grew up near fields, ponds, and lakes in Poland, Huron, and Lisbon, Ohio. He received a BA in Literature and Writing from the University of Arizona, an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a PhD in English from the University of Utah with specialties in American Literature and poetry writing before moving to Carbon County, Utah, and teaching at USU Eastern/CEU, where he co-hosted a long-running Readers' Series, was Director of the Wilderness Studies Program, and where he is now an Emeritus Professor. Always drawn to water and the outdoors, Jan cruises Lake Superior in the summers in a small boat, and in winters hikes Utah's canyons. His books include The Letters of Silver Dollar, WILD ROSES, and History of a Drowning. Jan lives in Wellington, Utah with his wife poet Nancy Takacs and their two dogs. Their son Ian Minich is a photographer in Salt Lake City.