by Jessica Temple 978-1-948692-48-9 paper 16.95 978-1-948692-49-6 ebook 9.99 6×9, 80 pp. Poetry February 2021
Daughters of Bone explores the landscapes and people of the South. Drawing on personal and collective history, these poems explore the relationships between place, people, history, culture, and language. Subjects include family and relationships, especially between women of different generations, means of handling grief, and travel and return. Photographs or physical objects often work as keys to memories of events or people from the past. Particular locations or landscapes likewise serve as reminders. This collection questions the meaning of “home” and “family.” It mythologizes the author’s own history as she searches for her place within it.
Jessica Temple earned her PhD in poetry from Georgia State University. She co-directs the syndicated poetry college radio program melodically challenged and teaches at Alabama A&M University. Her work has appeared in Thema; Crab Orchard Review; Canyon Voices; and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems from Negative Capability Press, among others. She is the author of the chapbook Seamless and Other Legends (Finishing Line Press, 2013). She attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and was named Alabama State Poetry Society’s 2019 Poet of the Year. Learn more at jessicatemple.com.
What reviewers are saying:
Daughters of Bone strikes me as a claiming: of self, of personal history, and of the voice to speak of these things. Few poets have the ability to simultaneously evoke the particularities of their own lives and draw a reader in to make it hers as well, but Jessica Temple made me feel welcome, at home in these poems. I know these women, and I know these places. Temple’s intense engagement with words and their histories reveals how we make the world with the stories we tell, and with the beauty of their telling.
—Jennifer Horne, Poet Laureate of Alabama, 2017-present
and author of Borrowed Light, Little Wanderer, and Bottle Tree
The South is both a place and a feeling, and Jessica Temple constructs that entity on the page with a raw and curious eye in Daughters of Bone. The lost mother, questions of family lineage, and even a dip into Grimm folklore make up some of this book’s themes, which feel all at once like memoir and verse. Temple’s willingness to see her South and her life with poetic finesse is well worth the read!
—Ashley M. Jones, author of dark / / thing and Magic City Gospel
Jessica Temple’s poetry demonstrates an expansive energy and a soulful joy, the eternal issues of sorrow and death, as well as an impressive representation of place, family, and nature. Her language and consciousness render an unmistakeable and beautiful poetic voice. Again and again, there are striking lines of aural delight.
—Sue Walker, Poet Laureate of Alabama, 2003-2012, editor and publisher
of Negative Capability, and author of Blood Will Bear Your Name