“My poems brought me to Oxford, Mississippi, a.k.a. the Velvet Ditch: / a place you can fall into, get comfortable among confederate rebels” writes O’Neil in her bold new collection. Glitter Road reflects on the end of a marriage, loss, and a new relationship against the backdrop of a Mississippi season. She explores the history and legacy of Emmett Till, how his story is braided with hers, and how race binds us all together. These poems reclaim the vulnerable, intimate parts of a life in transition and celebrate womanhood through awakenings, landscapes, meanders, and possibilities. She declares, “I am done telling the kinder story. I am a myth of my own making.”
Glitter RoadJanuary Gill O'Neil
Coming February 6th, 2024! Orders will begin shipping by January 31st.
|Dimensions||6 × 9 in|
In Glitter Road, the brilliant and beautiful collection of poems by January Gill O’Neil, we are taken from truth to tenderness, old love to new love, the Northeast to the Deep South, and everywhere in between. The engaging lyric forms move seamlessly from Tina Turner to the legacy of Emmett Till to cartwheels, to a Hallmark card that hasn’t been invented yet, and into John Grisham’s bed. O’Neil writes, “I’ll take my miracles however they appear / these days”—and how can we not praise the wounded world with her? Whether writing about Blackness, body, family, nature or nurture, love or loss, these poems always keep a sense of hope and humor. Glitter Road sparkles and dazzles me, then wrings out my heart in the very best way. And as O’Neil writes, “If at 4 a.m. you find yourself awake and alone, / curled up in your half-empty bed under a flashlight’s / white light reading a poem . . . regret nothing.” I will tell you: you won’t. These are the poems you need on your nightstand because this is a book you won’t be able to put down. Rich with history and herstory, these stunning and striking poems are intimate, honest, and always engaging. I cannot recommend this collection enough. Glitter Road is O’Neil’s most powerful book yet.
—Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Dialogues with Rising Tides
The alluring poems in Glitter Road delve into past heartbreaks and the exquisite joy of family and newfound love in a constantly changing world. In sure and talented hands like O’Neil’s, vibrant landscapes whirl, take root, and break bread with ghosts. It’s clear these heart-filled poems will have a full and magnificent life of their own.
—Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments
When I welcome you into my house / the carpet vacuumed only
seconds before / When I pour you a glass of prosecco / When my
son slices mozzarella for his caprese salad from tomatoes we grew
/ the basil from the garden / When my daughter sautés tomatoes
/ with pine nuts and mint / Watching her slop red gravy from hot
pot to dish is a lesson in grace / in forgiveness / in “that’s OK,
we’ll clean it up later” / When I make a J with my pinky to taste
what remains / When you test a bit of crab cake / held together
by breadcrumbs and egg / transformed to become otherworldly /
uncertainty is the flip side of hope / When I set the roasted green
beans in a bone-white bowl / When we take our seats around the
crowded table / and face each other / the mismatched plates / the
still water / the napkins unfolded / the chatter quiets / When we
read Joy Harjo’s poem “Perhaps the World Ends Here”/ it is grace
/ listen / this food is blessed by your presence / When we break
bread / together / perhaps the world begins here / begins again /
which is no small thing
from Glitter Road
I’ll take my miracles however they appear
these days—a salamander poking its head
above the bricks; the shocking blue overcoat
of the season’s first bluebird; a spider web
unbroken. At the corner of Molly Barr
and McElroy I saw a thick trail of glitter
in the curve of the right turn lane. Fuchsia.
Not paint, or blood, or a parade shedding
its cheer. It’s the faded streak of eye shadow
as it trails into flecks, then disappears.
I think of cars passing through this moment—
their undercarriages aglow with possibility…
from Clit Ode
Peach pit sucked clean.
Cosmic marble. An orchid
in a perpetual garden, or sea glass
brushed smooth by the surf ’s rough tongue.
Afternoons we wasted as the sun dipped
below the horizon, stretched out on my bed,
my back arched, your mouth made to amaze
as I climb a trellis into the wild familiar.
January Gill O’Neil
Pub date – February 2024
Trade paper – 6 x 9″
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