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Pocketing Feathers

Join this family: Hayden, Dickinson, Eliot, Auden, Whitman, and Ginsberg. Watch as this family takes shape and proves as complicated as the bloodlines of all the families gathered here. No mother, father, sister, or brother is presented without scrutiny. No writer could prove great without such studied examination. Go ahead, "tell them the languages of dreams," remind them that love is work, that transforming hate to love is work, that living is work, and know: There is no better life than the gift of a life devoted to this work. Thank you, JD, for doing this work. -Irena Praitis author of Straws and Shadows, One Woman's Life, and Branches In Pocketing Feathers, J.D. Isip takes an elegance I can only say is equaled by Whitman and created a complete photo album of his life in, sometimes, Bukowski-esque bare-knuckle terms. His ideas are complete and the music his words create when read aloud is its own, multi-genre soundtrack. I am amazed at the heart of light even in his most painful memories. Isip does not pull punches. He does not write for shock value. The last thing this gentleman is looking for is pity. No, Pocketing Feathers is an honest look into a tumultuous life where self-discovery has its own, unique jazz and growing pains. -Clifford Brooks, Pulitzer-nominated author of The Draw of Broken Eyes & Whirling Metaphysics In Pocketing Feathers, J.D. Isip moves "frame by frame" through meditations on race, faith, family, and sexuality. These jazz-inspired improvisations, these poetic hinges of belief, call upon archetypal protagonists and intertexuality, vaulting the reader through "crumbling pieces of the past." Isip writes "Oh praise Jesus!" She says, "Isn't it wonderful?" and I say yes. -R. Flowers Rivera author of Troubling Accents and Heathen J.D. Isip's Pocketing Feathers is a book of jewel after jewel of crafted poems; poems of conviction, obsession, and the "bastard myths" that create and destroy the writer of the poems. He evokes those "monstrous and the earth-shattering" details of aging, of growing up poor, of drug addiction, of sexual discovery and sexual loathing, and of the beauty of a writer's inner universe. Turn to the series "How to Be" and be introduced to a master of writing jealousy, possession, and tenderness. Poems for serious readers of poems. -Sean Singer, author of Discography and Honey & Smoke. In Pocketing Feathers, we are struck by J.D. Isip's astonishing range: the deft formal verse, the starkly intimate confessional, the pastiche of the Modernist long poem, the Whitmanesque elegy. This is a courageous young poet, drawing hungrily and knowledgeably on the tradition, and finding within it the means to express pains and joys that are at once personal and deeply universal. These poems remind us that every invention is re-invention, and that poetry, to borrow from Pound, is news that stays news. J.D. Isip is a poet with something to say and a rich skill for saying it. -Shane Seely, author of Surface of the Lit World and The Snowbound House
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