Join us for an evening with local author Jan Shoemaker as we celebrate the release of her newest book, one of poetry, The Reliquary Earth.
The “spirit that slips inside” these gorgeous, intelligent poems, spills out as marvel of the world which at times seems to cry like the crow, yet perseveres like ferns spiraling up through snow. The entire universe, this poet tells us, experiences memory, all of it interconnected. These are lyrical elegies. They are odes. This collection is a synthesis of faith, nature, and ourselves, all in need of one another, all deserving of protection, political and otherwise. --Joy Gaines-Friedler, author of Capture Theory and Dutiful Heart
In The Reliquary Earth, Jan Shoemaker interrogates the world—both natural and manmade—in an attempt to understand what it means to be both human and humane amidst the chaos of the twenty-first century. These are wonderful poems, full of that all-too-rare combination of heart and wisdom, truly a manifesto for difficult times. --Sarah Freligh, author of Sad Math
The Reliquary Earth is a collection of treasures, allowing us to walk with Jan Shoemaker and see what she sees. Each poem calls our attention to something we might have overlooked otherwise, and the short lines and careful diction invite us to stop and marvel or weep alongside the speaker. These poems have both a sureness of vision and an aching need to understand: how can we live in the world as we find it? – Susannah Sheffer, author of This Kind of Knowing and Fighting for Their Lives
About Jan Shoemaker:
Jan Shoemaker grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. Shortly after finishing her B.A. in English at Michigan State University, she moved to Seattle where she waited tables at the Pike Place Market and wrote poems while she rode ferries around Puget Sound. In the years that followed, she wrote poems while waitressing on the Maine coast and in Rhode Island. Eventually, she returned to Lansing Michigan to be closer to her family and make a career in education.
She has been teaching high school in mid-Michigan for twenty-eight years, first for the Diocese of Lansing and currently at a public high school outside the city. She sees her real imprint on her school’s curriculum in the World’s Religions class affording her students field trips to synagogues and churches and mosques, as well as a Hindu Temple, and a Buddhist monastery. She is a recipient of the Greater Lansing United Nation Association’s Loy LaSalle Award for outstanding contributions to Global Education and International Understanding. In addition to teaching, she is a part-time bookseller at independently owned and run Schuler Books in Okemos, Michigan.
Her work has been featured on public radio, anthologized, and published in many magazines and journals including River Teeth, The Sun, Fourth Genre, Colorado Review, Upstreet, and Sufi Journal. She earned an MFA at Ashland University. In 2016 her first book Flesh and Stones, Fieldnotes on a Finite World was published by the Ohio based Bottom Dog Press.