House of Poured-Out Waters

Author: Jane Mead
Paper – $23
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/01/2001
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About the Book

In House of Poured-Out Waters, Jane Mead's substantial new collection, she continues to grapple with a world both personal and cultural. Poised in the slender moment between too early and too late, between the difficult past and the unimaginable future, Mead's poems remind us that the old debates about fate and free will, nature and nurture, are also matters of personal urgency.

More than anything, it is her spiritual dimension that offers Mead a way into the future--but that way must be paved, image by image, with the world before her. Simultaneously conversational and lyrical, these fearless poems extend the possibilities of narrative verse.


"[A] powerful work . . . infused with pale light and pearly pain even as it pulses with chiming word repetitions and syncopated rhythms. Lithe and spare, Mead's poems move across the secretive white of the page like cat tracks on snow." -- Booklist

"The mutable realm inhabited by this second collection of poems shifts seamlessly between loss and redemption, despair and exaltation. . . . Mead is "making flypaper out of history./ Personal and cultural," collecting and recollecting particles of a shattered past that coalesce, ultimately, into a testimonial to her passion for life and to the power of historicity. . . . Her poems evolve from a confessional nucleus devoid of self-pity, conducted by supple lexicon, and 'when you listen to the words / you know they want life / just like we did, only harder." -- Ellie Sarasohn, Boston Review

"In [Mead's] breathtaking second collection. . . [she] has distilled narrative to a startling purity. An extraordinary tactile silence abound in Mead's taut, uncompromising emotional landscape, which ranges through grief, anger, complicity, petition, cowardice, grace. . . . The smallest, most fragile events are taken in by Mead, delicately, unrelentingly, and are weighted with purpose, seen deeply, imbued with the capacity to speak with composure to the ineffable and the horrific, equally." -- Lia Purpura, The Antioch Review