Titles 1998-2018

The Heronry, Mark Jarman


Ordinary people seek connections to the natural world and each other in the poems of The Heronry, a collection which presents a series of spiritual encounters in the form of praise poems, lyric portraiture, and meditations on faith and belief.


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Mark Jarman is the author of 10 previous books of poetry and several collections of essays and reviews. His awards and honors include the Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award, the Poets' Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Balcones Poetry Prize, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry. He is Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. 


“With precision and tenderness, Jarman explores the sinew and soul of humankind.” 
Publishers Weekly

“[A]n invaluably unique poetic personality.”
Booklist, starred review

"This year, I've read the poetry of Mark Jarman . . . with gratitude.”
—Christian Century

“The myriad gifts of this gathering of poems confirm that Jarman is one of America’s most distinct and important voices, and prove that it is possible to sustain an original style over a long career (in Jarman’s case, an understated, wry, perspicacious, darkly complicated and formal engagement with belief and unbelief) while avoiding self-parody of a falling off of vision.”

“I admire the way Mark Jarman’s poetry worries spiritual concerns while remaining rooted in the everyday.”
Library Journal

“Following the development of Jarman’s poetry and his uncompromising vision of poetry—making as sacred work—our contributor, Michelle Boisseau, found herself amazed again and again at how the unaffected discipline of Jarman’s craft helps him plumb the reaches of human experience. One of the most moving and exhilarating experiences she had this year reading poetry.”
Kansas City Star

“Mark Jarman is good, one of the most thoughtful and adroit poets writing these days, a man with handsome ambitions.”
The Georgia Review

“Focusing on questions of faith and the loss of faith, he is able to enter with a quiet, unjudging sympathy into the conflicts of a wide variety of perspectives, presenting their denials and affirmations as the testimony of what it means to be spiritually alive. The poems enact an openness that is particularly welcome in a time like ours of strident contention.”
—Carl Dennis, author of Practical Gods

“Mark Jarman has exerted a significant influence on contemporary American poetry.”
—The Poetry Foundation

“[Jarman's] ear and the precision of his language, as well as the range of human experience he can bring into focus, continually quicken one's interest in the poems. . . . These reflections on mortality, faith, belief, and love can make for lively, provoking reading.”