by Jessica Temple
978-1-948692-48-9 paper 16.95
978-1-948692-49-6 ebook 9.99
6×9, 80 pp.
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
I don’t normally read a lot of poetry, but Daughters of Bone really caught my eye although it was mainly the beautiful cover that drew me to it. From the beginning I could tell Daughters of Bone had a completely different tone and feel as it focuses more on human relationships not just with other people but with locations and time itself. Some of the poems were quite light-hearted and fun which was delightful to read. Then some were darker in tone which was also quite delightful to read, and I could not wait to continue reading.
I really enjoyed the writing in Daughters of Bone as it fluidly changed style and genres without jarring me from the reading experience, Temple also moves fluidly between real life events and imagined thoughts or stories or dreams but writes in such a way that you can picture everything in your mind with startling clarity. The images of Alabama summers, barbeques coupled with images of death and the dying was strange yet uniquely endearing. I can honestly say that for most of my life, I have never understood poetry and the poetry I have read I don’t normally enjoy. However, as I am getting older and experiencing more of life and the world myself, I am coming to appreciate how difficult it is to translate these experiences, thoughts, ideas, dreams and so much more into physical language as it never seems enough to convey the emotions and desires held in a single moment, but it is just enough to ignite that same passion or feeling in the reader.
Overall, I gave Daughters of Bone five stars. I enjoyed it because it incorporates the dark and gritty themes I loved alongside nostalgia and happiness. I think going forward I will try to actively seek out more poetry in a similar style to Temple’s as it really works for me as a reader.
—Book Review for Edelweiss (by Jodie Cook)
I will have to admit, this is my first foray into Temple’s poems, but I absolutely enjoyed them and will definitely try to track down more of her books.
With just a few words you could feel the world of the poem come to life around you. I’ve never been to Georgia, but I could feel the heat of the summer and the smell of the kitchens. Coming from the North, there’s a lot I don’t fully understand about growing up in the South, but I do recognize many situations that were described, which also probably helped with the immersion.
I also noticed some echoes from growing up as a woman, and most of the time those feel jarring to me, or uncomfortable, but these poems present it as something natural, something that can morph as it grows instead of needing to stay confirmed as one thing.
I recommend this book to anyone who has ever grown up, that being, everyone. Thank you again Edelweiss for a copy of this stunning poetry collection.
—Maxie Froelicher, reviewer for Edelweiss