Singing At High Altitude
Every page of Jennifer Markell’s Singing at High Altitude speaks of flesh and blood, of real-life: A young woman makes a small concession to a lecherous landlord. A daughter wipes her dying father’s forehead. A fledgling bird’s last moment is observed. These poems are sharp and finely crafted, without a single moment of artifice meant merely to impress. Markell’s work demonstrates the power of poetry to reveal the profound in “ordinary” moments.
~Charles Coe, author of Memento Mori (Leapfrog Press)
Before we were born we were just "a dab in the swirl," says Jennifer Markell, a poet in love with the world in all its details—the "pollen grains [that] gather on anthers," the "foxglove's lanky bloom," a clock whose "innards shone like vital organs." Such love means she also thirsts to save the world, and all of us in it—the "Grocers, grooms, the falsely accused—" —a task as difficult as singing at high altitude. I'm grateful Jennifer Markell has risen to the challenge and gifted us this fine book.
~Meg Kearney, author of All Morning the Crows, (The Word Works) winner of the 2020 Washington Prize for Poetry
The high-altitude singing in Jennifer Markell's poetry comes not only from birds on the wing. In these poems, we hear dreams and longings, odes and elegies, love songs and laments. We hear also of piercing childhood memories, harsh societal bewilderments, and dire ecological warnings. These beautifully crafted and deeply moving poems are the songs of ongoing life on this earth, and they rise as high as we allow our imaginations to take them.
~Fred Marchant, author of Said Not Said (Graywolf Press)