Landscape of The Wait by Jami Macarty

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 9 customer ratings
(9 customer reviews)



How to write of emergency. Of trauma. Of a boy in a coma surrounded by those who care. Who care to find him. Jami Macarty, the poet among them, writes her way toward him with a scorching, visceral language. Her poems try to make contact from every direction and so the poems are heterogeneous, their myriad structures probing. The unsettled grammatical connections, the caesuras rehearsing loss, the vowels howling in rhyme from either side of the gap, the skips in the language— into into into— enact all the energies of living in that extended moment of suspension when we simply don’t know what happens next.

–Forrest Gander, author of Core Samples from the World & The Trace


In this “landscape,” the experience of waiting ceases to be mere concept, ceases to even be merely a topographic condition to be observed. Landscape of The Wait inevitably, inexorably, becomes a mirror, and the reader will see herself mirrored in it. But it does more. We are offered the landscape of crisis as a mirror of not only our own human condition, but of the ways that our normative human conditioning will be torn through by radical and irreversible change. There is, perhaps, a kind of freedom in that terror, though one that none of us would willingly choose. This is the kind of hard-won awareness, the kind of subtlety and complexity, that these poems achieve. Though the poems navigate a crisis specific to the speaker, which is exactingly portrayed, the reader can find in this text insights into some of the largest questions we ask of life, and of death. Each poem uses its form as a unique figure of inquiry—sometimes precociously, sometimes with a profoundly moving sadness. What is found in this poet’s deft delving into the unknowable is never a completion, never a finish, but rather a map for furthering the investigation. These are beautiful, brilliant poems exposing us to the fullness of a fierce and compassionate, never complacent, intelligence.

–Rusty Morrison, author of After Urgency & Beyond the Chainlink


From the trauma of ruin, Jami Macarty tries to make sense. The more delicate and beautiful these lyrics are the keener we feel the double-edged blessing and wound of living in a human form. The quiet vigil beside the body of the comatose nephew finds its analogy in the writer and reader desperately attending the language of the poem in deep hope of finding some comfort there.

–Kazim Ali, author of Bright Felon & Sky War


Review at Panoply     --


Landscape of The Wait

by Jami Macarty

$13.99, paper

Jami Macarty is a poet, editor, arts administrator, and community advocate. She teaches contemporary poetry and creative writing at Simon Fraser University, advises and edits the online poetry journal The Maynard, and writes Peerings & Hearings—Occasional Musings on Arts in the City of Glass, a blog series for Drunken Boat. A recipient of grants from Banff Center and BC Arts Council, her poems appear in American and Canadian journals, including Arc Poetry Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Fiddlehead, Prism international, Vallum: Contemporary Poetry, Verse Daily, and Volt.

9 reviews for Landscape of The Wait by Jami Macarty

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Ms. Macarty’s chapbook is breathtaking in its eloquence. The poetry is a piece of art that must be viewed again and again.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    In Jami Macarty’s collection Landscape of The Wait, her poems create a landscape of dread even as they inform. Early on we know heartbreak is ahead. In “Fracture” the speaker says “where the fractured / glimpse /
    the eternal.” The tender, questioning final poem asks “if only” showing the shadows and every day moments that bring us to the heartbreaking last line “if no one deserves this, certainly not you.” From the wreckage—the body, the lost moments, the truck—Macarty artfully attempts to make sense of chance—something impossible to do. This is a harrowing collection and I recommend it heartily.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    In Landscape of The Wait, Jami Macarty gives language and form to the interminable space between a traumatic accident and what happens next. She helps us, as her readers, stay in the wait, recreating the longing, the not knowing, the insistent cycles of darkness and light. As with the best poetry, the particulars of her nephew’s car accident and coma, rendered so skillfully, become universal. She makes her query as familiar as our own, through dreams, flights, accident reports, hospital vocabulary and phone calls. These deeply felt and achingly beautiful poems call out: row sweet William/ row back to us/ outwater the water. Macarty outwaters the water.
    Jane Attanucci, author of First Mud, Finishing Line Press, 2015

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    A collection of poems to read again and again, to be savored, to stand in awe of. Imagine someone who can wield a scalpel and a cleaver in the same hand at the same time with equally expert dexterity — Jami Macarty is the poetic equivalent. Visceral, incandescent verse explodes from these pages to convey the helplessness of the wait as a loved one lies unaware at the door of death. Her ability to juxtapose the physical proximity of her comatose nephew with the incalculable distance of his mind haunts, captivates, enlightens the reader.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Breathtaking! Deeply felt and economically written–every line feels parsed to absolute necessity. There’s a terse urgency in these poems that speaks to deeply felt experience. All who have waited in vigil over a loved one know in their heart what Macarty is saying. The last poem, “If Only What If” is a mantra for the vagaries and apparent randomness in all our lives. A marvelous accomplishment

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is beautiful, riveting, heart-felt writing. I felt transported into the author’s grief and resolution as she worked through heartbreak. It will be some time until I feel ready to read Macarty’s volume again, but it will be there and worth the wait.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    I opened and could not stop reading until the end. Its amazing!

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Jami Macarty is a cartographer in the most poignant and beautiful way. She charts territory that no one would willingly map, but she does it with grace and beauty and a precision of image such that we can’t help but be drawn into the landscape with her.

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