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Monday, January 9, 2017

Fwd: Monday's poet is Paulette Jiles

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Janet Harrison" <>
Date: Jan 7, 2017 7:41 PM
Subject: Monday's poet is Paulette Jiles
To: "Janet Harrison" <>, "John Case" <>

Although Paulette Jiles is now focused on writing novels, she began her writing career as a poet and a journalist. She was born on April 4, 1943 in Salem, Missouri, in the Ozark Mountains. While she grew up in various small towns in central Missouri, she spent a great deal of time visiting family in the Ozark mountains, including her grandfather, whom she describes as a great storyteller. She attended the University of Missouri (KC) on a scholarship, majoring in Romance Languages. In 1969, she moved to Canada; currently she holds dual citizenship. In 1973 she moved to far northern Ontario to run a community radio station. She spent a decade there, living among the Ojibway and the Cree, experiences she chronicled in the memoir North Spirit (Hungry Mind Press, 1995). Previously, her second book of poetry, Celestial Navigation (McClelland and Stewart, 1984) won multiple awards, including the Governor General's Award for English Poetry. She has also published Blackwater (Knopf, 1988) a collection of poetry and prose, and Flying Lesson: Selected Poems (Oxford University Press, 1995). Her five published novels are Enemy Women (2002), Stormy Weather (2007), The Color of Lightning (2009), Lighthouse Island (2013), and News of the World (2016), which was nominated for the National Book Award. Currently she lives near San Antonio, Texas. For further information and links to her blog entries, see her website,  

This week's featured poem, "Everything the Loon Sings About," is from Celestial Navigation (McClelland and Stewart, 1984). The version below is taken from Blackwater (Knopf, 1988), and differs from the original in a few line breaks. 


Everything the loon sings about is
monumental and jeweled. 
     Everything matters 
and floats. 
They take nothing calmly. 
     These must be domestic arguments 
out there in the bay, other women, 

     We are held by two anchors, 
bow and stern, 
the sails in their crisp bags crackle.
     Later I will have dreams 
of being rammed in the forepeak
     as we sink in columns of
fairy bubbles toward whatever
     the bottom holds. 

     Pines full of turpentine bend
with bitter grace over the shore. 
They are right.
     Everything matters. 

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