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Jess, Poems by Judith H. Montgomery
H. Montgomery’s Red Jess is
a book that crackles with the sights and sounds of the world, and their touch
on the heart. The formal sculpting and fluent music of her poems herald an
unusually mature and refined first collection.
Sample Poems by Judith H. Montgomery
“Survivals occur every day, often hard-won, and death grows rather rudely over-familiar. Montgomery’s poems recognize this and yet miraculously radiate the possibility of joy. Distilled and precise, yet always on the verge of complete wildness, the Red Jess poems are ‘blood-lit and underwrit by bone.’ They move across these pages like ghost horses.”—Nance Van Winckel, author of Bad Girl with Hawk, The Dirt, After a Spell, Beside Ourselves
“Judith Montgomery is a fundamentalist of sight. She keeps watch, pays attention, pores over, scrutinizes, and particularizes. In her meticulous observation of the hues and textures of the world she manages to pass them back through the heart. She sees the color, the gleam, and the dazzle. Her gaze can be sharp and scissoring or it can be expansive and graceful, mortal and unreasonable. Her language is a lens that sees things in precision and with exactitude and clarity. She looks the way a ‘phrenologist fingers the skull to divine the soul.’”—Bruce Smith, author of Mercy Seat, The Other Lover, Songs for Two Voices
“The poems of Judith Montgomery’s Red Jess evoke our desire to compose and order the world and, almost simultaneously, change what we have composed—inevitably unleashing both the forces which create and those which destroy. Such alteration confronts the knowledge that, as she writes, ‘everything human/may be used/to save or sever.’ This knowledge prevails throughout the precise elegance of Red Jess—the world musical and carefully wrought, the world made more dear by what it admits. Montgomery’s poems embody both the severing and the necessary descent into the saving grace and vulnerability of passions that we recognize as everything fallible, everything human.”—Maxine Scates, author of Toluca Street, Black Loam
Judith H. Montgomery is also the author of Passion, which received the Defined Providence Chapbook Award, and subsequently the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. She has received fellowships in poetry from the Oregon Arts Commission and Literary Arts, and has been a resident at Caldera and Soapstone. Her poems appear in The Bellingham Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Comstock Review, Dogwood, The Formalist, Gulf Coast, High Desert Journal, Margie, The Southern Review, and elsewhere, as well as in several anthologies. Her work has received the Americas Review, 49th Parallel, National Writers Union, and Chaffin Journal poetry prizes. She is the 2005-2006 Poet-in-Residence at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, where she lives. She holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Syracuse University.
ISBN: 1933456175, 96 pages