by Lowell Jaeger
“Lowell Jaeger’s new book eclipses the paltry stature of the well-to-do by dealing out poem after poem honoring plucky strangers and indelible kin. These portraits deliver in deft and quirky detail “what he calls the ‘gymnastics of making do’.” My eyes are opened by this book to the spell-binding array of biographies resident at the edge of my vision every day. Having read these poems, with their courage in seeing and skill in saying, I will not go forth into this world as I was.”
–Kim Stafford, author of The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft
“In his new book, entitled We, Lowell Jaeger turns his exacting eye on family, friends, and strangers, delving for our common humanity in the many senses of the term common as ordinary, public, and shared. The poems, though they may range across time, portray a soul community in a rough and tumble place, an American place of tragedy and redemption, where someone can as easily drive past a homeless person as give the pregnant teenage waitress a forty dollar tip.
No one is a hero, nor is anyone downright evil. His allies are workers, weary housewives, sewage drainers, hotel maids, bartenders. No one is perfect, and he lets no one off the hook, whether father, neighbor, or himself. If there is a message here, it’s we’ve got to keep trying, which is probably the most humane message of them all.” –Melissa Kwasny author of Reading Novalis in Montana
“A wonderful book. The beauty, word play and humor in these poems are delightful!”
–Leslie Marmon Silko author of Ceremony