The Usable Field
The Usable Field
“With each of her books, Jane Mead develops a more economical, unique language for grief, and for the yearning toward wholeness. Confessional detail and philosophical argument are reduced to traces, but their resonance from underneath leaves no doubt that this work is serious. This is a book I will be living with for a long time to come.”
Available in print.
Jane Mead is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently World of Made and Unmade (Alice James, 2016) which was nominated for a National Book Award, as well as a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and the Griffin Prize in Poetry. Her poems appear regularly in journals and anthologies, and she’s the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, and a Lannan Foundation Completion Grant. For many years Poet-in-Residence at Wake Forest University, she manages her family’s ranch in northern California. She has taught as a visiting writer at Washington University, Colby College and most recently, The University of Iowa.
“Jane Mead penetrates grief with alacrity and burning self-scrutiny. This work enters the world like wild rain and lightning, an inheritance from Celan’s and Tsvetaeva’s stuttered lyricism. Those who can brave the revolutions in her music will choose life because of its difficulty.”
“Jane Mead’s our Emily Dickinson, our most ambitious solitary. Her austere poems are brilliant: endlessly inventive, syntactically, tonally and emotionally rich. Alternately ironic and undefended, she never sacrifices compassion, justice, her quest for pleasure. In their longing and their loneliness, tending to the otherness of nature, the beauty of expression, these poems honor the frailty that makes us most human.”
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