Jill Osier, winner of the 2017 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award, returns to Bull City Press with a new chapbook.
“These poems shine with the deep intelligence of gentleness and of a quiet, sustained concern. To read them is to be reminded of Robert Creeley’s passionate advocacy of Hart Crane, a passion that reached crescendo in the exclamation (in a letter to Charles Olson) “Dammit, isn’t that gentle!” Here is a poet whose primary commitment is to attention, a poet who simultaneously understands and avows that attention is now and ever shall be the vivid prime of Love. I neither blush nor hesitate to say that such avowal is literally angelic. This poet’s “Requiem” gently but unequivocally proposes point-of-view as an angelic imperative, gentle on its very face: “Try / to remember the smell of sun through it all. It’s / a rare courtship.” Love courts attention, and attention in return is both courted and empowered by love. The upshot? “There was a beating / of silence then, until it was a new quiet…” It is the bright substance of this “new quiet” I am happy to welcome and to acknowledge. It is surely the peaceable frontier of joy.”