In the opening poem of The Surface of last Scattering, the poet asks "How shape a full-bodied intelligent speaking for an open-hearted listening?" In pursuit of the possibilities engendered by this question, Gray Jacobik writes meditative lyrics, essay-poems and prose-poems as grounded in the mind as in the body, poems that assume, and reward, an open-hearted listening. Ascribing to no one school of poetics, and no one style, Jacobik is unafraid of either spare language or a language of high color. She uses a range of resources from verisimilitude to abstraction to write poems that are at once instruments of knowing and passionate songs.
GRAY JACOBIK, winner of the 1997 Juniper Prize for her book of poems The Double Task (University of Massachusetts Press, 1998) has published three other collections of poetry: Sandpainting (1980), Paradise Poems (1978), and Jane's Song (1976). An NEA fellow, her work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Ontario Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Midwest Quarterly, Connecticut Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Humanities Review, North American Review, and Georgia Review, among others, and her poems have been in a number of leading anthologies, such as The Best American Poetry, 1997 and Anthology of Magazine Verse and Yearbook of American Poetry.
What Readers Are Saying:
"The Surface of Last Scattering is a brilliant book. From beginning to end, I felt my attention gripped by a true poet. A maker of stunning metaphors, Gray Jacobik revels in that swift and burning thought "like a line of sparking gunpowder wending toward a cache of dynamite." Here are poems of keen intelligence and disarming candor, ranging through a universe of feelings, from the barbed wit of ‘West of Tucson' to the poignancy of ‘Emily' and ‘Death Is a Material Flower.' There are splendid love poems (‘Sleeping In,' ‘The Beloved's Body') and astonishing meditations on everything from apples to the custom of foot-binding to the nature of genius. To read Gray Jacobik's work is to be pleasurably illuminated—to live in a wider and more finely comprehended world." --X. J. Kennedy