This week’s other featured books, “Iola O,” by G.M. Monks, “Listen,” by Steven Cramer and “The Stopping Places,” by Amy George, can be found by scrolling down below this posat, or by clicking the author’s name on our Authors page.
THE BOOK: Flint & Fire.
PUBLISHED IN: 2019.
THE AUTHOR: Lisa M. Hase-Jackson.
THE EDITOR: Nina Boudabin and Nancy Allen.
THE PUBLISHER: The Word Works. Since 1974, The Word Works has been a nonprofit literary and educational organization dedicated to the publishing and support of contemporary poetry and literature for the cultural enrichment of humankind.
SUMMARY: Poetry. Women’s Studies. Selected for the 2019 Hilary Tham Capital Collection by Jericho Brown. Like the prairies that populate many of these poems, life often must be burned back to make way for growth. Lisa Hase-Jackson strikes the flinty surfaces of living and ignites a fire that both clarifies and illuminates. Spanning divorce, single motherhood, individuality, and love, FLINT AND FIRE is a collection that burns with brave and honest beauty. Says Denise Duhamel, “Lisa Hase-Jackson’s poems are poems of survival—elegantly crafted testimonials,
gorgeously empathetic narratives. She pays wildly democratic witness to addiction, racism, mental illness, incarceration, women’s shelter pamphlets, and subsidized apartment complexes. An important, fearless, beautiful, wholly American debut.”
THE BACK STORY: Did I decide to write this book? I guess I decided to write each one of the poems in it and in so writing made decisions about form and content, sound and metaphor, line lengths and stanza breaks. I wrote in response to what was happening in my life over a span of about ten years, I wrote about the past, and I wrote simply to explore ideas, dreams, and images. After all that, I decided to collect what I had written into a manuscript and send it out into the world. I never knew for certain how all this writing would manifest, but I tried to follow where it led.
WHY THIS TITLE?: Flint & Fire refers to the Flint Hills of Kansas, particularly during controlled burns and the awesome spectacle of that annual seasonal event. Much of the poetry in this collection is informed by the Kansas landscape and its mythos.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? People often say they did not know that poetry could be like this; that when they read or hear my poetry, they become lost in the imagery and the narrative. These poems will appeal to anyone who has fallen in love or ended relationships, who has raised children and watched them make choices that, as a parent, are very hard to accept. It is about addiction and survival, poverty and simple pleasures, about joy and resilience, and always, always informed by place.
“There is a burning intelligence and passion at work in these poems. Flint & Fire crackles and glows with a purity of lyricism we had no idea we’d lived without and now know we cannot.” —Rick Mulkey, author of Toward Any Darkness and Before the Age of Reason.
“This collection is a glorious quilt, drawing upon fragments of life and bringing them together in an artful, and meaningful way.” — Barbara Lawhorn, Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University.
“From the beginning to the end, this book is not shy about the need to question the ambitions put on us by capitalism and the assumed desire to join middle class America: ‘that we’ll catch up once we are happy, full, sated and clothed.'” –Jericho Brown, Author of The Tradition.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Lisa Hase-Jackson grew up in Kansas, Missouri, and New Mexico. After working several years as a paralegal, and surviving divorce, she returned to school to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a writer, believing an education would help in this endeavor. She earned her MA in English from Kansas State University and her MFA in Poetry from Converse University. Her work is informed by her observations of American culture and the promised pursuit of happiness that never manifests. Rooted firmly in place, environments and landscapes populate her poems as vividly as do characters. Now a resident of Charleston, South Carolina, where the sight of moonlit Spanish moss draped above salt marshes continues to mystify her, Lisa has completed a second collection of poetry and is seeking a publisher. Lisa is Editor in Chief of South 85 Journal.
My new husband pulls the hood of his sweatshirt
over his head and jokes in that inappropriate way men
think so funny that I should come looking for him
if he doesn’t return from checking the mail.
My heart jumped that short space between my chest
and throat, but I didn’t laugh because it was dark
outside and all of our neighbors are white.
I worried every minute of the five he was gone,
recited the Serenity Prayer like a perpetual mantra
until he came back through the front door, keys
in hand, dragging a little of the night’s cool air with him.
In the pile of mail, a few sealed envelopes
from utility companies, a church flier, sheets
of glossy coupons – the kind you can’t recycle.
The evening passed as so many do: dinner,
reading in bed, goodnight kisses. When morning
came and my husband left for work, I watched
him drive out of the cul-de-sac as the sound
of the engine faded into sunrise, then went to his closet,
where he hangs all the clothes he doesn’t fold, and pulled down
every single hoodie he owns, even the Adidas we bought
in Korea, and shredded them to unwearable strips.
Buxton Books, Charleston, South Carolina
Village Bookseller, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Small Press Distribution, The Word Works.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
email: lisahasejackson at gmail.com.