A NEW YORK TIMES BEST POETRY BOOK OF 2018
A transfiguration of Mennonite hymns into heartbreaking lyric poems, Years, Months, and Days is a moving “meditation on the possibility of translation.” Bridging secular spirituality and holy reverence with the commonalities of life, death, love, and hope, Jernigan explores the connection between hymn and poem, recalling the spare beauty of Marilynne Robinson’s novels or the poems of Jan Zwicky and Robert Bringhurst. The sparse and tender phrasing of Years, Months, and Days is “an offering of words to music,” made in the spirit of a shared love—for life, for a particular landscape and its rhythms—that animates poem and prayer alike.
About the author
Gabeba Baderoon is a poet and scholar and the author of the poetry collections, The Dream in the Next Body and A Hundred Silences. She received the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry and teaches Women's Studies and African Studies at Pennsylvania State University.
Kate Clanchy's three collections Slattern, Samarkand, and Newborn, have recently been gathered into a Selected Poems, published by Picador. She has won the Writer's Guild Award, The VS Prichett Prize, and the BBC National Short Story Award for her prose. Her novel, Meeting the English, was shortlisted for the Costa Prize in 2013.
Carolyn Forché is a poet, translator and essayist, and editor of two best-selling poetry anthologies, Against Forgetting and Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English: 1500-2001 (co-edited with Duncan Wu). Her poetry books include Gathering the Tribes, The Country Between Us, The Angel of History and Blue Hour. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. She is a Professor of English at Georgetown University, where she also directs The Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.
Amanda Jernigan is the author of two books of poetry, Groundwork (2011) and All the Daylight Hours (2013). The first was shortlisted for the League of Canadian Poets' Pat Lowther Award and included in the National Public Radio's list of best books of the year; the second was named a best book of the year in the National Post. She is the editor of The Essential Richard Outram (2011) and author of a monograph on the poetry of Peter Sanger.
Praise for Years, Months, and Days
"[Years, Months, and Days] is carried by Jernigan’s obvious respect for her sponsoring material and by her superb ear." —The New York Times
"Exquisite . . . deeply resonant . . . There’s often a metaphysical cast to her forthright observations, which makes them both evocative and poignant." —Toronto Star
"Amanda Jernigan’s small and beautiful book should be on your bedside table even if it is as heaped as mine. Just 4” by 5” and fewer than 70 pages, the book consists of untitled, spare, and simply-worded poems which evoke the cycles of life, the seasons, and human longing for meaning and connection. The poems expand in your head, opening your mind to matters beyond the day-to-day."—Arc Poetry Magazine
"The poems are tiny, seeds only, bare of flourish, each containing the germ of an idea so large the mind can hardly hold it . . . . If you seek to tune those numbered days of yours to what is most frightfully vital, you might carry this book in your satchel awhile. It’s tiny enough to conceal in a large pocket, but it thunders, and its seeds carry fields." —Image
"Singular . . . stirring . . . invites pauses and contemplation. It is [Jernigan's] keen sense of what is essential that guides . . . these meditations." —Hamilton Review of Books
"An elegant little book . . . Jernigan crafts pithy yet piercing poems that echo in the mind."—Canadian Literature
"Vespers. Devotional. Breathtakingly sparse. Elegant. Wondrous. Moving. Rare." — Jeff Kirby, knife | fork | book