Poetry. A meditation on the death of a mother, MERIDIAN measures the hours and reflects on how experience collapses and elongates time, creating a lens through which we can look at how we're connected and separated. And the poet asks: Is music our best refusal to accede to the irrationality of death?
"I have long considered Kathleen Jesme a truly remarkable poet. In MERIDIAN, however, she outdoes herself. Jesme fills this lyric chronicle of the death of her mother with precise observations, strange silences, and breathtaking moments of beauty and music. Whether she dwells on the relentless snow whispering around the house or slips into crystalline recollection of her mother's slow failure, I sense in these poems a subtle mind at work on an unsolvable problem. For Jesme knows we can find neither clarity nor conclusion in the emptiness death leaves behind, but must always circle around it, reaching for meaning in the images and memories that surround us as we prepare to grieve, and then grieve. 'I am swimming toward you,' she writes late in the poem, 'through / the past / which clings to me / and holds me / back / and up.' MERIDIAN is not merely a beautifully written, ambitious poem-it is also the most moving I have read in a long time."—Kevin Prufer
Kathleen Jesme is the author of five collections of poetry: ALBEDO (Ahsahta Press, 2014), MERIDIAN (Tupelo Press, 2012), winner of the Snowbound Chapbook Prize; THE PLUM-STONE GAME (Ahsahta Press, 2009); Motherhouse, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize (Pleiades Press, 2005); and Fire Eater (University of Tampa Press, 2003). Jesme holds an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College and a BA in English from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minnesota.
Author City: Inver Grove Heights, MN USA