That Word

Jamie Parsley's twelfth book of poems
is now available from
North Star Press

amie Parsley's latest collection chronicles a dark year following the sudden death of his father in
the early fall of 2010. These poems cover a gauntlet of emotions: shock, loss, despair. But
ultimately they are poems of faith, resilience, strength and, in the end, rebirth.  

Some advance praise for
That Word:

Jamie Parsley's new poems tread the path of grief within the liturgical map of holy days, feasts, and spiritual acts. These
poems offer a voice "forever altered" by loss, a keening we sense in each moment depicted until we understand "We are
what we hold/and let go." Through a careful, even subdued study of a year beyond the death of a loved one, we begin to
understand "perfect mourning" that is both curse and grace as Parsley fine poem "These Men" shows us.
--Heid Erdrich
Cell Traffic: New and Selected Poems

That Word
sings a son’s grief at his father’s death. “All the men of this family/die the same way. / After years of heavy  
labor /they take to their beds/ in their exhaustion/ and never rise again/ from that grasping last sleep.”  The ghosts of
Walt Whitman and Job visit This Word, Job in wailing over loss; Walt Whitman in singing the daily into the holy, the
stuff of liturgy: from loss to acceptance, from darkness to seeing. I’m in awe watching the unassuming workman-father
blessed and transformed into a priestly role:  “Let us call down the kingfisher/...the same one.../ he intended to feed/  when
he poured out/ the seed into/ the feeder/ as though/ offering it to/ the spirit who flew/ toward him/ through the thin
morning mist/ that last day.”
—Sharon Chmielarz,
Love from the Yellowstone Trail

These poems come from a deep place. Because That Word is Goodbye, there is grief and regret but also hope. It takes
enormous emotional resolve to dig up the bones of experience, bringing its remnants into the light. And it takes artistic skill
to render this revealing in terms that others can recognize and enter. We ask, “Can these bones live?” For both writer and
reader this poetry translates into the prospect of wholeness through divine

--Luci Shaw,  
cape: New Poems, and
Adventure of Ascent
                                   Writer in Residence, Regent College
home    about Jamie    books    Crow      press     contact