The Reliquary Earth
Jan Shoemaker's new collection of poems, "The Reliquary Earth," is now available. Buy directly through the publisher, MainStreet Rag, or pick up a copy at Schuler Books.
The “spirit that slips inside” these gorgeous, intelligent poems, spills out as marvel of the world which at times seems to cry like the crow, yet perseveres like ferns spiraling up through snow. The entire universe, this poet tells us, experiences memory, all of it interconnected. These are lyrical elegies. They are odes. This collection is a synthesis of faith, nature, and ourselves, all in need of one another, all deserving of protection, political and otherwise. --Joy Gaines-Friedler, author of Capture Theory and Dutiful Heart
In The Reliquary Earth, Jan Shoemaker interrogates the world—both natural and manmade—in an attempt to understand what it means to be both human and humane amidst the chaos of the twenty-first century. These are wonderful poems, full of that all-too-rare combination of heart and wisdom, truly a manifesto for difficult times. --Sarah Freligh, author of Sad Math
The Reliquary Earth is a collection of treasures, allowing us to walk with Jan Shoemaker and see what she sees. Each poem calls our attention to something we might have overlooked otherwise, and the short lines and careful diction invite us to stop and marvel or weep alongside the speaker. These poems have both a sureness of vision and an aching need to understand: how can we live in the world as we find it? – Susannah Sheffer, author of This Kind of Knowing and Fighting for Their Lives
Flesh and Stones: Field Notes From A Finite World
"Travelogue and family album, tour of heart and tour de force--with Flesh and Stones, we are alerted to an astonishing work in words. Jan Shoemaker crafts essays that tell the rare and contrarian facts of life with apparent ease, uncanny authenticity."
--Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking
"Jan Shoemaker may be the finest crafter of sentences working in the essay today. Her prose displays remarkable humor and wit, an intelligence that never grows brittle because it is based on a lively reading and teaching life and placed in the service of life’s imponderable questions. Her probing of our common mysteries and her affection for others opens great depths of feeling as well. In Flesh and Stones heart and mind and words meet."
--Steven Harvey, author of a memoir, The Book of Knowledge and Wonder
"Jan Shoemaker leads you into the darkness (a mother dying of Alzheimer's, another faithful dog gone, the stark recognition that we get to keep nothing we love in this world), and then lets in the light, shows you the dance of the sun on the water, and says something so funny, so perfect, you'll just have to laugh. Together, you will move into the questions that matter: When you can't be the person you want to be, what then? Together, you will remember that our largest lives are lived in the tinniest moments"
--Jill Christman, author of Darkroom, A Family Exposure