by Jory Mickelson
$18.00 Floating Bridge Press (2019), 107 pages, ISBN: 978-1-930446-50-2
Wilderness//Kingdom is a sensual and poetic exploration of the West, the road, and the body. Spiritual and pastoral, this award-winning debut is not to be missed. Lyric and startling, these poems conjure hunger and grace in equal measure that are intent on finding their place in the world.
Frontier Poetry Digital Book Tour: Jory Mickelson
Montana Public Radio The Write Question with Jory Mickelson
Praise for Wilderness//Kingdom:
“Jory Mickelson’s Wilderness//
“Stillness pays the most to study,’ writes Jory Mickelson in Wilderness // Kingdom. Stillness has many facets in his hands. The hesitations that hinder queer youth from truly living: ‘leaning to carry / difference in the quiet of myself.’ The silences between father and son. The feverish hush after ecstasy or death. The enriching tranquility of marriage: ‘I taste each of your / doubts.’ Mickelson not only studies stillness, he spins it into gorgeous motion. His language resonates and is agile; the pauses and swerves of life are visible, startling. Wilderness //Kingdom is a remarkable and propulsive debut.”
“It is such a gift when I want to live in a book of poems, when I find myself traveling its paths over and over because there is so much to take in—chokecherry and valley floor, flint cumulonimbus and cottonwood, a sea that does not recognize itself—Wilderness//Kingdom by Jory Mickelson is that collection. From the opening line, God didn’t make me a painter so much as a lover / of them, Mickelson shows his genius at the linebreak and narration. This debut collection offers all that I want in a book—poems that are vulnerable and strong, smart and sensual, poems that hold wonder and wound, and sometimes in the same stanza. How could I not fall in love with this book? We tour the geography of family and childhood, lovers and loss, parade floats and cars. With nature as our backdrop, Michelson’s authentic and engaging voice becomes the landscape we want to live in and love—How the hammer /of the heart swings—the vibrancy of these poems! They are essential and just so good. This is truly one gorgeous collection of poems.”
–Kelli Russell Agodon
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