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Jed Myers

by Jed Myers — Winner of the 2022 Sheila-Na-Gig Chapbook Contest

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jed Myers is author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press), and, forthcoming, Learning to Hold (Wandering Aengus Press Editors’ Award). Recent writing appears or is forthcoming in Rattle, The Poetry Review, RHINO, The Greensboro Review, Rust + Moth,, On the Seawall, The National Poetry Review, Nimrod International Journal, and elsewhere. Myers lives in Seattle, where he edits the journal Bracken.

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Arcane Mechanics of Constant Lift explores the invisible dynamic by which we and the rest of life tend to persist through the perennial threats, hardships, oppressions, and traumas that would, and eventually do, take us down. The poet’s own family’s immigrant refugee history is both resource and backdrop for such illuminations. These poems draw as well on childhood memories, observations of nature in its cycles of emergence and breakdown, experiences of love, present-day social struggle, and the all-too-current realities of barbarous invasion and warfare. The collection’s title phrase and central image is found in its penultimate poem, “A Prayer,” in which we witness a creature’s exquisitely embodied knowing of how to navigate the forces of the surround. These poems suggest that the “lift” is indeed in the intimate attunement, a kind of communion, with what surrounds us, immediately and at any distance.


Jed Myers’ The Arcane Mechanics of Constant Lift looks back on the poet’s life, and the lives who made it, less to consider an unknown future than to contemplate the unknown present. Therein lies its power and its lyric––for whether in the abstract space of memory or beneath the long shadow of the yard’s Japanese maple, this is an honest, abiding collection of family, humility, politics, love, and loss––which is to say, life’s beautiful, brutal truths. ~ Simmons Buntin, author of Bloom and Riverfall

Myers builds a lush world grounded in flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest that reaches for his East Coast childhood and back to his Eastern European Jewish roots. Charged as much with the lyric impulse to sing as with the narrative one to tell a story across generations, Myers’ poems bridge ancient myth with the domestic and global violence of our present, reminding us this moment is not devoid of art, but hungry for it. With each new stanza––“a memory / or flight of imagining: I hear myself / saying Home”––Myers asks us to find home in these verses, and alongside him, we do. ~ Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, author of The Many Names for Mother and 40 WEEKS

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