WELCOME! BENVENUTI!

Professor Jenne' Rodey Andrews, M.F.A., is a highly regarded American poet, critic and memoirist. Recent work has appeared in former Autumn House Publisher Michael Simms' Vox Populi (over fifteen poems) The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and elsewhere.

Andrews' current ms of poetry Beautiful Dust was a finalist for the 2014 Autumn House and she recently withdrew the work from Salmon Ltd, Ireland to protest unmoderated bashing of American writers by Irish writers on the press's social media pages.

Her most recent collection, Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, lauded by Robert Bly and endorsed by poets Jim Moore, Dawn Potter and Patricia Kirkpatrick, appeared from Finishing Line Press 2013. A booklength collection Beautiful Dust was 2014 finalist for the Autumn House Press Poetry Prize and solicited by Salmon Press, Ireland. Turning on work set in the West and her native Southwest the collection is under submission to 2019 publication prizes.

Andrews is currently hard at work on two new memoirs: The Shame Garden: A Woman Writes of Isolation, Despair and Self-Redemption, which in intensely wrought prose poetry chronicles the anatomy of shame; it is the poet's late-in-life tour d'force, sending the reader through the circles of hell, the sewers of Paris, mano a mano confrontations with the Alien mater familias , fusing literary and cinematic works in an elliptical dance with human history and experience of being Other. The poet has no idea of what will become of this work but hopes it finds a home as memoir with a small press.

A four part interview with Andrews went live at poet Maureen Doallas's blog Writing without Paper in 2010.

Other collections include the full-length Reunion, Lynx House Press, The Dark Animal of Liberty, Leaping Mountain Press, and In Pursuit of the Family, edited and published by Robert Bly and the Minnesota Writers Publishing House.

Her work has been anthologized in Heartland II, Northern Illinois University Press, 25 Minnesota Vols. I and II, Wingbone: An Anthology of Colorado Poetry, Women Poets of the Twin Cities, Oil and Water and Other Things that Don't Mix, and elsewhere.

Essays have appeared in MPR's Magazine, The Colorado Review, The Twin Falls Times News, and miscellaneous journals.

IIt is Prof. Andrews' belief that one's collection of poetry must be judged on the quality of its craft, voice, and language, not its themes.

In 2018, she also withdrew her collection of translations Bocca, Voce, Delirio, Mouth, Voice, Delirium, Poems of Italy and Amore, from Finishing Line, which had been translated by Professor Lorenzo Luciani and the Poet Rosalba di Vona, whose work has been translated on this very blog, after the translators threw tantrums when the Poet identified two errors, and the publisher, Finishing Line Press, insisted that she proofread galleys produced by broken software that were utterly illegible. As noted, Beautiful Dust and Bocca Voce will be circulated to other houses.

Her work has been lauded by a number of her contemporaries who include in part poets Christopher Howell, Tom Wayman, Bill Tremblay, Patricia Kirkpatrick, many others and the memoirist Patricia Hampl, who wrote a forward to her first collection and is considered the "mother" of the modern American memoir although she arguably shares this title with Mary Karr for Karr's The Liar's Club. Andrews mentored Karr in Minneapolis when the former was circa 19.

Professor Andrews has had an illustrious teaching career at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado where she taught prelaw students in the making of argument and the issues-oriented seminar The American West. She was the highest rated instructor in the University Writing program during her tenure at Boulder.

Currently Professor Andrews writes daily at age 70, having been rendered housebound in 2007 in a fall from a horse, at home with her lover and companion of thirty years the fiction writer Jack Brooks, ten new poems a month, and is working on an additional memoir about her pioneer roots, "Territory Fever: The Story of an Albuquerque Family," and a memoir, The Shame Garden: One Woman writes of Rejection, Desolation and Self-Redemption. This ambitious memoir explores the origins of shame and unworthiness from the crib forward with personal anecdote and the processes by means of which the shamed arrive at "not-mattering" to the world and to themselves. The latter will be circulated and the former is posted as chapters are finished to Loquaciously Yours where the poet has produced over 450 essays in the past decade on a variety of topics as well as book reviews. Upcoming: a review of Ethna McKiernan's new Salmon Collection.

Ms. Andrews is also a Civil Rights Advocate advocating in 2019 for the civil rights of the poet Ping Wang who recently won the AWP Award for Memoir as well as having three open cases of her own before the Colorado Division of Civil Rights.

In 2015, after a long battle, Andrews extracted her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, begun and finished it the 80's, self-advocating under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In fact Andrews was instrumental in the Colorado Commission on Higher Education's approval of the MFA at CSU.

She is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Minnesota Arts Board Fellowship, was short-listed for a Bush Foundation Fellowship, and was full-time Poet in Residence for the St. Paul Schools from '74-78.

She lived in St. Paul from 1971-78 during the first wave of the Twin Cities literary renaissance, one of the first poets to inaugurate The Loft Literary Center, co-founding Women Poets of the Twin Cities which as noted boosted the careers of Mary Karr, Ethna McKiernan and others, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy which gave rise to the "voluptuous prose-poetry" memoir Nightfall in Verona posted in entirety here, designated by arts maven and former friend Caroline Marshall of NPR The Writer Reads as "fabulous." A four-part interview of Professor Andrews is available online at fellow poet Maureen Doallas's inimitable blog Writing without Paper...

Professor Andrews also founded a poetry group on She Writes which included Dawn Potter, Katha Pollock and other noteworthy writers, and supported the work of Meg Waite Clayton, fiction writer in addition to mentoring a number of other up and coming writers.

There is no way to estimate the influence on the lives and work of the some 12,000 students k-12 she met and encouraged in the seventies, but the poet James Tolan has attributed his career to her work as it was anthologized in Heartland II, Lucien Stryk, Editor. Professor Stryk read the title poem of In Pursuit of the Family on NPR.

The poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple's daily life is centered around writing and enjoying their beautiful imported Golden Retrievers;-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com.

Signed copies of the Blackbirds Dance collection, endorsed by James Moore, Patricia Kirkpatrick and Dawn Potter, are available from the poet. She posts new work below and is available for mentorship and virtual readings via Skype.

She is happy to critique ms. of poetry, fiction and memoir for a small fee.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Poem: The Wound Testifies


The Wound Testifies

It is true that I am the beggar heroine of my own life.  It is true that I have
wounds that glitter in the sun like silver dollars baked into my skin.  It is true
that I have a mouthful of black butterflies at sundown.  But pain is.  Lies are.  
If you love and open the wound your heart is someone will pour black oil

Into it--  you will fold like a white silk scarf in the meaningless light of
afternoon.  You will want to die, but then if you can stand it a few
seconds longer, you will rise up, sit in the dusk where the clouds and
retreating sun make a bonfire scrim behind the trees. Have you seen

The way they reach and search, with the black branches against magenta
and orange light, the beggar heroine ascending from her despair like a
blackbird, in a few luminous minutes of delight.

ii

I have wept and I have raged: is this not true of us, we who feel too keenly,
so that we are pierced by the merest whisper. I would like to have stones in
my breast, not flesh, not the pale weak flesh so readily seared by innuendos. 

I would like not to rise up like a matriarch owl, my wings beating over you
who live by wounding and cowardice. For lo, I am utterly sick of being
a wound, sick to death of death and the smell of death and rain and the
promise of rain only to have the pallid sun beat down and parch the earth. 

I would love to be a clock, inanimate yet ticking away the seasons.  Or a
bomb that did some good, if  there were such a bomb, like safely moving
a collapsed house off a child even if it cost me my life.  Or to be someone

On fire with self-belief, who has not collected all of her tears like sapphires
in a velvet box or hour on hour, blunders on even when the shadows
feel like loving pale arms and the water waits, in  a wanton and green allure. 

Revision, copyright 2019 Prof. Jenne' Rodey Andrews 

Monday, October 26, 2015

New Poem for Magpie Tales.....


photo by Daniel Murtagh






Pasodoble, 1979

Unlike other moments of transport
I remember that day exactly.
After the drought between us
he had flown in; so much time
had passed, I could not still
my leaping heart.

I had taken over my parents’ house
after my father’s death.
I had inhabited their room
sifting through mother’s jewelry
for some time,
drinking the cold white wine
of summer,

erasing the bad years,
the disarray of cigarette-burned
furniture and floors,
all the chaos two drowning people
leave behind
when death comes,  circumspect
as the mail carrier—

Suddenly Father was gone and Mother
wouldn’t speak;
she was face down on her bed
in the Golden West,
where broken people are deposited
like a check to a teller
to be fed and dressed
and wheeled in to the lounge,
parked under a donated
clock with slow hands.

That day my lover
stood in the doorway,
his brown eyes dancing;
he was my height, not tall,
with a dazzling smile
that made you think
of Caribbean beach fires…
His English was lyrical,
assonant with  Spanish.

I wore a new peach peignoir,
my hair down. 
When he stepped toward me
there was no stopping it—the wet
deep kisses, his hands deftly
sliding the gown from my shoulders
until it pooled on the floor
like a wilted orchid
someone had forgotten
to place in a vase of cut glass
that could refract its pale luster.  

Then, kisses and whisperings,
 the beautiful clench
of mutuality, how we had taught
each other the horizontal
Pasodoble—
I, pulling him into me
with those deepest muscles,
he, surging, his fingers
massaging the hot opalescent
pearl-slick node there, 
with its long sensate petals,

So that I pulsed, and pulled him
down into the hungry fathoms
of my womanhood--
clenched, and burned;
my heart fracturing
at the beauty and glory of it.

We two lay awash and weeping
in that stillness
of absence and summer;
He said he was in love with me,
and I said I wanted to carry
his child.

Years later I sent a letter
in Spanish in care of a church
listing his name among its congregants
telling him I regretted my hurts,
had forgotten nothing between us.
Of course that good fellow the pastor
passed it on to his wife
who sent a curt greeting to me
and said she had given it to him;
that he had read it, lifting one eyebrow,
saying nothing.

How I wanted to open the floodgates,
Somehow revive the past.
Not long after she wrote again,
saying that he had died,
heart giving out at eighty-three,
refusing oxygen.

I wondered what had happened
to me in multiple
collisions with other men
over the years, a hardening
of the heart that had given him
so much lyrical tenderness. 

When the news came
I lay down on my rumpled bed;
in afternoon light; our old rapture
poured over me;
his semblance kissed the small
of my back;
I whispered, “Gracias a la vida
che mi ha dado tanto; *
my grey hair spread around me,
a field without flowers.


*Gracias a la vida che mi ha dado tanto = Thank you life, for giving me so much."

Friday, March 6, 2015

New Poem: Notes on a Day in England

Notes on a Day in England

I turn on the PC
to be treated to a series of photos
of friends spending the day in York.

Several of us are peering into the window
of this romance.  A solemn yet generous-voiced
Englishman.  A beautiful American woman.

Figuratively along for the ride,
we muse over the photos, the stark
yet tender rowhouses, the cathedral--
“Yorkminster”--
embracing the air with Gothic arms.
the grey stucco on grey sky; 
an aristocratic dark ale
shared in a dark inn.

We are not voyeurs--only
want these two
to keep warming their hands 
by the light
in each other’s eyes--

our attention says, “Godspeed.” 
Our conjecture recognizes the potential
for delirium—the ecstatic—
and how it is to part,
how deep the aching.

One afternoon forty years ago
I released the hands clasping mine,
staunching my tears
as he wept as well, and the train
pulling out of Turin station
bore him away 
like the welter of night.

Here it is a blue and diminishing day.
My love reads in the next room;
we are old, vulnerable
to the next hard thing
which we know will befall
as surely as bad weather descends
over the valley.

We think that we will face
all things bravely,
even when one of us
is removed from our daily lives
and where he sat or where we lay
inexorably pools with absence.

 How necessary
to give over to love, how definite
the great sundial of late winter
cottonwoods casting their own
courageous shadows
over last year's grass.    



copyright Jenne' R. Andrews

Friday, September 26, 2014

Second Guest Poem - Rosalba Di Vona - Magia della solitudine dell' anima - The Magical Solitude of the Soul

Welcome to the second week of publication of a contemporary Italian poet’s work on my blog.  The poet Rosalba Di Vona has graciously permitted me to translate her poem Magia della solitudine dell’anima/ The Magical Solitude of the Soul.

This is a brilliant poem about existential torment, of the body attempting to speak with the soul or more properly, attempting to listen to what the soul says in and with silence.  Please know that this may well be an imperfect translation.  I ask that you feel free to comment—this is a blog, after all—even contributing a better working of the poem in English or parts of it—to do it even more justice.The poem appears first in rich and beautiful Italian.  Then, the translation. My heartfelt thanks to this wonderful poet!

Benvenuti alla seconda settimana di pubblicazione dell'opera di un poeta italiano contemporaneo sul mio blog.  Il poeta/la poetessa formidabile Rosalba Di Vona gentilmente ha permesso a me di tradurre la poesia Magia della solitudine dell’anima.

Questa è una poesia brillante sul tormento esistenziale, del corpo tentando di parlare con l'anima, o più correttamente, tentando di ascoltare ciò che dice l'anima e nel silenzio.  Si prega di sapere che questo potrebbe essere una traduzione imperfetta.  Chiedo che sentono liberi di commentare — questo è un blog, dopo tutto — anche contribuendo a un migliore lavoro della poesia in inglese o parti di esso — fare esso anche più giustizia. Grazie di cuore, Rosalba!


Painting by Lorenzo Luciani



Magia della solitudine dell’anima

Resto ad ascoltare il lento passo
che spesso appare scomodo
ma intimo confessa
l’intervista all’anima inquieta

aggrovigliata nella sedia preferita
stringo al petto le ginocchia e fisso
piedi scalzi laccati di rosso e
mani  lente a massaggiare caviglie

sguardo dolce che implora energie
nell’intimità del grande silenzio che
racconta anche ciò che non sopporta
a  chi non l’ascolta senza inorridire

magia della solitudine dell’anima
che non ha bisogno di lenti per vedere e
credere nelle azioni che verranno ricompensate o
per trovare approdo dove il razionale è latitante

cerco solo l’intuizione giusta quella dei verbi che bramano
gesti da fare per incontrare  la speranza di futuri migliori
non si sopravvive oggi se non si pensa al domani
Il dolore della vita è maestro e in lui cerco la speranza

copyright Rosalba Di Vona  2014.


The Magical Solitude of the Soul

della poetessa Rosalba Di Vona.

I rest, to listen to the slow pace
that often seems inconvenient
but intimately confesses
an interview with the unquiet soul.

Tangled in a favorite chair
pressing my knees to my chest,
my feet fixed and lacquered red,
my slow hands massaging my ankles,

with a sweet look that summons energy
into the intimacy of the great silence
that recounts, even though
it is insoportable
to one who cannot listen
without being horrified.

The magic of the soul's solitude,
that doesn't need glasses to see
and believe in actions                                                                                                                
that will be rewarded
or to find approbation
where the rational is fugitive.

I am looking for that certain intuitiveness
of verbs that crave gestures of action,
to encounter hope for a better future.
You do not survive today
if you do not think about tomorrow.
The pain of life is a teacher
and it is there that I search for hope.

A poem by Rosalba Di Vona
Translation:  Jenne' R. Andrews

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

They Know All, the Stars/ Sanno Tutto Le Stelle by the Italian Poet Maria Esposito




Immagine di Maria Esposito

Caro Amici:  questa nel Italiano e sotto.  It is with great pleasure that I post what will surely not be the first of guest poems by an Italian "poetessa," with my humble effort at a translation into English beneath it.

I had no idea there were a number of gifted Italian women poets--throughout mainland Italy and especially, on Sicily, in the spectacular communities of like-minded people on that storm-tossed island that has been home to the Greeks, the Romans, the Normans, the Spanish, the Arabs-- multiple bel epochs,  each leaving its spectrum of influences.

I gladly offer the opportunity to the reader to try his or her own hand at a better translation, one that brings forth more of the intense lyrical mysticism that pervades this poem.  Please note that there is a translation link on the sidebar where you can insert as much as a stanza at a time to compare my translation to your own or others'.

Without further ado, a beautiful poem by Maria Esposito.  Thank you, beautiful Maria!
. . . . . . . . . .
È con grande piacere che vi do la che sicuramente non sarà il primo di poesie di un Italiano "poetessa", con il mio umile sforzo di una traduzione in inglese sotto di essa.

Non avevo la idea che fosse un numero di  poeti dotti Italiani chi anche sono donne--in tutta l'Italia continentale e, in particolare, in Sicilia, nella spettacolare comunità di persone che la pensano in quella  isola bellezza che è stata la casa per i Greci, i Romani, i Normanni,  gli Arabi-- più bel epoche, ogni lasciando il suo spettro di influenze.

Sono lieto di potervi offrire la possibilità al lettore di provare la propria mano in una migliore traduzione, quello che porta via più intensa misticismo lirica che caratterizza  questa poesia. mysticism

Senza piu de mi , una bella poesia di Maria Esposito. Grazie, bella Maria! Si prega di notare che c'è un collegamento di traduzione sulla barra laterale dove è possibile inserire quanto una stanza in un momento di confrontare la mia traduzione al proprio o altri".

Sanno Tutto Le Stelle

Sanno tutto le stelle
Sanno tutto loro...
Come indicarci con esattezza
le attese o imparare a maneggiare
il niente.
Come scavare nelle speranze
e andare avanti.
Sanno tutto le stelle
come raccogliere le ore
ed essere fedele ai segreti
a come amare con grazia
e senza egoismo o come
attendere il destino oppure
inventarselo.
Sanno tutto le stelle
finché restano somposte e
sparse nel cielo per la gioia di Dio
e sanno anche a come sognare
un immortalità ma che
non sia ben ancorata alla terra
quell'ordine scandito
che veglia come un guardiano
le sorti degl'uomini dall'universo.

They know all the stars

They know all, the stars.
They know all.
How to tell us in exactitude
our suppositions or how to manage
nothingness.
How to excavate our longing
and how to keep on.

They know all, the stars
how to collect the hours
and be faithful to their secrets;
how to love with gratitude
and without egotism;
how to attend to fate
or invent it into being.

They know it all, the stars,
how to remain affixed yet scattered
to the delight of God

and they also know how to dream
in an immortality
that is unanchored to the earth--
that order set forth
that watches like a guardian,
over humanity's fate in the universe..

Maria Esposito, Napolitana - translation, Jenne' R. Andrews, M.F.A.


Image provided by Maria Esposito

Forthcoming: poetry from the masterful Siciliana/Termitana Rita Elia, Rosalba di Vona, Prof. Santina Cundari, "Alla Pescatora" of beautiful Scilla, Italia, and others...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Recent Poem: Faultlines


This translation is a compromise between my own, done with the help of a translation program, and that of Sr. Marco Giuffrida.  Watch for his in full.  The original and English version of the poem appear below it.  Thank you.

Questa traduzione è un compromesso tra la mia, fatta con l'aiuto di un programma di traduzione, e quella Signore Marco Giuffrida. Guarda per il suo intero. La versione originale e in inglese del poema appare sotto di esso. Grazie.

La Frattura

Sputa la pioggia,
è dopo, del radio, avviso di tempesta.
Adesso qualcosa che ho fatto e venduto
comincia a incrinarsi,
frantumarsi, allargarsi

come colei che osservo nello specchio
nelle acque vorticose della notte.

E adesso, che le ragazze nigeriane
non sono tornate alle famiglie.
Così, ora vi sono linee di faglia, fratture,
in molti cuori.

ii

Chi può riparare a tutto questo.
quale prodotto straordinario
per uso domestico
che riempie tutte le incrinature.

Che vaso di decoupage colla,
lo progettato sembra un’ craqueleur-

Cosa propinquità e di decenza,
quale vicinanza o opportunità,
o segretario di Stato
o dottrina antica vieta la guerra?

 iii

Questi cose frantumati, si allontanano
l’un l’altro,
nonostante la loro archiviazione lucida
o polvere di vetro--
.
Ciò che non dovrebbe accadere, ma accade…

Che non posso spiegare io stesso per me.
Che la nostra affiliazione è inspiegabile
dopo la frammentazione delle anni domestici.

Che qualcuno che conosco
Che vive vicino al fiume
or’ va su una bicicletta nel diluvio
con cappello fradicio,
il suo cagnolino affamato
trotto di lato.


iv

Queste sono le cose che aderiscono a me
ed a voi, queste cose
che rubano la nostra attenzione:

Come al crepuscolo,
un libro di un amico
si cade aperto
alle pagine giallo e disintegrano:

dove le sue parole salgono
come nebbia ed entrano in me
dalla ombre frammentazione
della scatola archivio.


Inglese/English

Fault Lines

Spitting rain, a tornado warning.
Something I made and sold
suddenly begins to crack, peel,
fall apart--

like she whom I behold
in the bathroom mirror
in the eddying waters of night.

That the Nigerian girls
have not been returned
so that there are now fault lines
in many hearts.

ii

Who can repair any of this,
what remarkable product
for wide household use
that fills all cracks.
What pot of decoupage glue,
itself designed to intimate
craqueleur--

What propinquity or propriety,
what secretary of state,
or fading doctrine
against war?

iii

These things cracking, peeling,
pulling away from each other,
despite their archival gloss, or
dust-coated glass--

That which should not, yet does:

That I cannot explain myself
to myself.
That our affiliation
is inexplicable
after the splintering
household years.

That there is someone I know
riding by on a bike
in a sodden hat
with a trotting pitbull at side,
that these two live in all weather
on the river flat.

iv

These are the things that adhere to me,
to you,
that claim our attention,

how a friend’s book falls open at dusk
to yellow and disintegrate pages,
where his words then rise like mist
and enter me
from the fragmented shadows
of the archive box.


copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2014  jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .