Half/Life: New and Selected Poems

Half/Life: New and Selected Poems


Jeffrey Thomson

“Poetry that weaves history, mythology, science, music, geography—and more—into finely wrought tropes that re-contextualize our humanity. Poetry that deconstructs and reconceives. Poetry of such stark tenderness that the ear is arrested by the urgency of every line. Poetry that laments and replenishes. Poetry that is both private and public, oracular and intimate, personal and universal. Poetry that ruptures and mends. Poetry the speaks to the continuum of the human experience across time, space, and the page. That’s the poetry of Jeffrey Thomson.”
—Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet and author of How to Love a Country.

October 2019

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Available in both print and digital formats.


Jeffrey Thomson is a poet, memoirist, translator, and editor, and is the author of multiple books including the memoir fragile, The Belfast Notebooks, The Complete Poems of Catullus, and the edited collection From the Fishouse.  Alice James Books will publish Half/Life: Poems Selected and New in October 2019.  He has been an NEA Fellow, the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, and the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University.  He is currently professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington.


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— NC

Additional Praise:

"Balancing feeling and thinking, elegy and emergency, these terrific new and selected poems highlight Jeffrey Thomson's immense talent. He cooks every possible style, subject and sound into his work: Orpheus, Dairy Queen, abecedarian couplets, Belfast Notebooks, fake news, pastoral meditations. I have admired Thomson’s remarkable poetry for more than two decades. He writes like the middle brother between Maria Rainer Rilke and Larry Levis. He writes like a disciple of Borges, Bishop and Baldwin. He writes like no one else." 
—Terrance Hayes

“Jeffrey Thomson’s Half/Life showcases more than twenty years of luminous poems that brilliantly render the sensual world—its language, music, violence, landscapes, and desire—with precision, intelligence and grace. Plumbing history and mythology, politics and personal memory, these poems ultimately turn back to a central question: what is poetry? ‘The light / that points / the way // in the fog.’”
—Erika Meitner

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— NC

More by Jeffrey Thomson:

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— Jonathan L.