Jenne' Andrews is an American poet. She has three published chapbooks including the recent Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, Finishing Line Press 2013.

A full-length collection, Reunion, Lynx House Press, was published in 1983; after a long hiatus to raise Golden Retrievers in Colorado, recent work has appeared in The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and Vox Populi, a journal of culture, politics and poetry published and edited by the august Michael Simms.

A bilingual collection of "Italiana," Bocca, Voce, Delirio, with translations by Lorenzo Luciani, will be released by Finishing Line at the end of 2016 and her latest collection, And Now, the Road, a finalist for the Autumn House prize in 2014, will be released by Salmon Poetry Ltd, Ireland, a highly regarded international house, Jessie Lendennie, Publisher, circa 2017.

Andrews holds the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, 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, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple has recently imported two British Golden Retrievers and expects a litter in June-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Poem for Tuesday Challenge and One Shot Wednesday

written on a theme of "reconciliation"--

We Must Speak

What must I do to join you to me,
Say there is  no distance
That we are of each other's
Flesh, that worlds apart
I am your mother and you
Are my child

That when you are slashed open
When you are stirring ashes to life
To make tea
I bleed-- that we are the same body?

I do not want
To come to you
Whose oppression terrifies

With your men's martyrdom
The hieroglyph of jihad
Written in stone

But because blood flows
Like water there
we must reach for each other
Before the moon shatters
Into the sea in grief..
We must barter for bread
With an open hand
breaking the codes of silence



Maureen said...

I like this very much, Jenne. It's visceral and evocative and provocative, and that last stanza is stunning.

Maureen said...

Also, post this to One Stop Poetry for One Shot Wednesday. I think it deserves to be read by many.

Glynn said...

Beautiful poem. "Hieroglyph of jihad, written in stone," "barter for bread with an open hand" -- just lovely. It's like a town on the southern or eastern coast of the Mediterranean, and two women, on the verge of talking again or "breaking the code of silence."

Kathleen Overby said...

"Before the moon shatters / Into the sea with grief" if only we could hurry and put what is between us, behind us. 'Painterly words' packed with emotion.

jen revved said...

Thank you, everyone! xxxxj

Anonymous said...

Very strong and moving, and I agree with Maureen, this has a lot in it that really needs to be read by others'. The impact...compounded by that last line, "breaking the codes of silence" so necessary. Incredible writing/heart-wrenching truths to a struggling placement..very very well done! ~April

Eric Alder said...

Perhaps the space between us leaves room for us to grow? Nice One Shot, Jen!

Brian Miller said...

love it...raw and gritty...and hits home...

Dawn Potter said...

It would be interesting to me to hear you talk about your approach to designing a free-verse poem. How do you decide where to break lines and stanzas? Is your progression through your lines primarily sound- or image-driven? How much weight do you give to the elements of grammatical structure? When you revise, what tics do you zero in on? For instance, do you tend to overuse words or phrases? I'm always curious about these things in other people's work, probably because I spend so much time thinking about them in my own. And everyone's poems are so different!--which is wonderful.

jen revved said...

Thanks everyone once more and great questions, Dawn. I'll give this some thought and put something up at SW on my thread but I can say initially that it seems to vary a bit poem to poem-- I think in this case I break at times syntactically-- clauses-- and at other moments to denote a suspension, pause, breath-- regarding your gorgeous "Exile" I have similar questions! xxxj

kkrige said...

powerful words

Shashi said...

Very soft and flowing... I enjoyed the image that you have created with your words... Your first line caught my attention.. "We must speak" and then as you moved on to give reason, I was deep into it... thanks

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Pete Marshall said...

this was a wonderful read...and well done maureen for the recomendation...thanks or sharing pete

Steve said...

Striking, political, effective.

Anonymous said...

Powerful! Thank you for this.

Maureen said...

So glad so many from OneStop came over to read. And Dawn, too. I always feel honored when she visits a post of mine. I admire her writing.

Jingle Poetry said...


divine message, YES, we must reach out and touch each other to feel the warmth of human race.

keep it up.