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 .

Monday, May 16, 2011

Poem for Magpie Tales Monday

so participate in the lovely Tess Kincaid's Monday photo-prompt meme, click here.  Enjoy--j 

Draft for Magpie Tales


For years I kept them with me where I could see them,

their leather binding, gilded titles catching the light. She gave

them to me or they were considered as having been

passed to the girl who showed signs of loving to read and then

To write: I poured over the life of the cultivated and the damned

there on the English heather, the account of an illicit kiss and a night ride

on an invincible  mare.  I could then shut out what life was at that time--

someone flailing in her bedroom drenched in scotch

Like a barge filling with bilge. There were these delicate texts, their

finely penned inscriptions, that they mattered and had been sequestered,

preserved, and come into my hands so that it fell to me to keep them holy

as if a bookshelf were a church a nave where you went to be quiet

To hear majestic and beautiful words rustling in the pages, the book-tongues

and their anecdotes & lies. For a long time after  I took them from garret

to garret and set them there to connect me to my own past, they had

taken me out of the darkness into image and narrative and song

And the erotic feel of the careful linotype on a thin page.

Eventually I put the books a gilded cage and they murmured and retold  

themselves through the seasons of  light and the silverfish years--retired.

I retired the books of my grandmother to heirlooms. And I had been writing

and writing, the scribe of childhood yearnings

Translator of the litanies of the lost child and then fell away from

the holding in my hand of a fresh find from the library and now,

small shiny poetries come my way like trikes under a Christmas tree

And the old books go to those trapped in bed, to the sanctuaries

of trees and gardens and brooks, returned to their native habitat,

before the invention of paper, whole boxes-full, fed to

the hungry illiterate sea.


A photo-op treat:  My friend and mentor Robert Bly-- reading in Minneapolis last week at the age of 84-- a poet and his books!   

Robert Bly, Plymouth Congregational Church, May 9, 2011, Minneapolis-- photo Star/Trib.  

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews  2011


Fireblossom said...

I love the photograph of Robert Bly.

A room full of books does indeed have its churchy aspect, at least for me. I love books, real books. They are my friends, entertainers, and to no small degree, my teachers.

Anonymous said...

It really speaks to the masses. I love it very much. My magpie: http://verseinanutshell.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/open-book/

Sarah Allen said...

Beautiful work! Thank you so much for sharing.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Reflections said...

A stunning tribute to the heart held books of childhood memories, tomorrows share and everything penned and paged betweeen.

Helen said...

How wonderful ... Robert Bly in person!

Books in gilded cages ~ my favorite words in your splendid poem.

Steve Isaak said...

Again, love this, wish I'd written this (said in a non-jealous amiable way).

Sue J said...

I really enjoyed reading this. Beautifully expressed.