by Kim Jacobs-Beck
Introduction by Nancy Botkin
paperback, 46 pages
This poetry chapbook takes its inspiration from the tradition of the "torch song." The poems explore the sensual delights of love, its jazz and rhythm, but also the suffering that can come when we open ourselves to love's promise. Love in these poems extends to the family, the city, and the natural environment of the Midwest. Because the poet bravely accepts emotional risks, her humane voice can guide us through our hopeful and hazardous dealings with the people and places we call our own. Praising the collection, poet Jessica Smith (author of Life-List and How to Know Flowers) writes, "Kim Jacobs-Beck draws her reader through a mix of playfulness and our shared understanding that life, and love, are inscribed in a circle of suffering and moments of joy. Jacobs-Beck's traditional subjects -- nature, love, family—are brightened by contemporary references and skilled use of tactile and sensory imagery. We follow her into the passion of early romance, the brutality of family love, and the comfort of a sustained relationship. Details—a grocery list for milk, brie, and plums, the wide 'blue blue blue' of a Midwestern sky—enmesh us in her world and our own memories." Megan Mary Moore (author of Dwellers) writes that the poems in Torch "are more than songs of love between the poet and partner as the reader may expect from the title. These poems are torch songs of love that is born, raised, abused, and eventually withers in a specific place: home. Torch is a tender whisper to the reader that for as long as we have a home, we will be haunted by the ghosts of the love that once lived there."
About the Author
Kim Jacobs-Beck is a poet and a professor of English at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College. Born and raised just outside Detroit, she now lives in Hamilton, Ohio, somewhere between Cincinnati and Dayton. She studied English literature and creative writing at Beloit College, has an MA in literature from the University of Delaware, and an MFA in Poetry and a PhD in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature from Miami University (Ohio). Kim directs Milk & Cake Press. She enjoys reviewing poetry collections for her fellow poets. Catch up with her at her homepage.