Poems radiate a love for life, the world, and the temporal nature of existence. Roots of memory and nostalgia become the architecture of the mind as Thomson explores the past to better grasp the future. Featured books in the collection focus on desire, language, and landscape; while others explore loss in the context of myth, sexuality, violence, politics, and community.
"Balancing feeling and thinking, elegy and emergency, these terrific new and selected poems highlight Jeffrey Thomson's immense talent. He cooks every possible style, subject and sound into his work: Orpheus, Dairy Queen, abecedarian couplets, Belfast Notebooks, fake news, pastoral meditations. I have admired Thomson’s remarkable poetry for more than two decades. He writes like the middle brother between Maria Rainer Rilke and Larry Levis. He writes like a disciple of Borges, Bishop and Baldwin. He writes like no one else." —Terrance Hayes
“Poetry that weaves history, mythology, science, music, geography—and more—into finely wrought tropes that re-contextualize our humanity. Poetry that deconstructs and reconceives. Poetry of such stark tenderness that the ear is arrested by the urgency of every line. Poetry that laments and replenishes. Poetry that is both private and public, oracular and intimate, personal and universal. Poetry that ruptures and mends. Poetry the speaks to the continuum of the human experience across time, space, and the page. That’s the poetry of Jeffrey Thomson.” —Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet and author of How to Love a Country.
“Jeffrey Thomson’s Half/Life showcases more than twenty years of luminous poems that brilliantly render the sensual world—its language, music, violence, landscapes, and desire—with precision, intelligence and grace. Plumbing history and mythology, politics and personal memory, these poems ultimately turn back to a central question: what is poetry? 'The light / that points / the way // in the fog.'" -Erika Meitner