The Tree Surgeon Dreams of Bowling by Jayne Marek


Lucid and accessible, The Tree Surgeon Dreams of Bowling invites readers to enjoy the author’s deft use of slant rhymes and expressive poetic forms.  In three sections that move between inner and outer worlds, across the American landscape and the Pacific Ocean, this book ponders how mistakes and losses, insights gained from travel, and good-humored gratefulness frame the rich textures of life.



Poet Jayne Marek makes her home in the moment, whether the environment is bleak, like a hospital, or uplifting, as when drinking Japanese tea. Our poet is never still, moving from phase to phase of her life, and traveling around the world, transplanting her home from Indiana to the west coast. The stillness is found inside the poems, tracing the spiritual action of growing lighter, of connecting with the natural world wherever the poet lands. Two maple leaves, for example, cling to a slab with Japanese text, “trifold shapes rhyming // as if the poet herself /stroked those leaves with afternoon rain / and placed them there.” The poet did place them there, in words, in triadic lines that fall quietly against the space of the page, like the “tails of gods’ robes,” or “purifying smoke.” The poems of “The Tree Surgeon Dreams of Bowling” invite the reader: “. . . come this way / visitor // toward the edge / following my beauty / you know you want to.” And like a blue butterfly seeking the inside of a flower bell, the reader is delighted to dip in.

–Marilyn Kallet, author of 17 books, including The Love That Moves Me, poetry from Black Widow Press.


Here is perception let loose and used by the intelligence of language, surprising and fat as a lost sock (that’s actually a drowned mole) or as crow gangsters caught in the act. One reads this work with a combination of the dread of grief that lurks behind the next fence and the delight of each luminous detail reported with the deep feeling at the core of the kind of poetry we come back to again and again because we sense there is something more, something we might have missed.

–Paul E. Nelson, poet/interviewer, author of A Time Before Slaughter and American Sentences




The Tree Surgeon Dreams of Bowling

by Jayne Marek

$19.99, Full-length, paper


Jayne Marek’s poems and art photos appear or are forthcoming in publications such as Spillway, 3Elements, Silk Road, Sliver of Stone, Camas, Gravel, Cold Mountain Review, New Mexico Review, Pontoon Poetry, and elsewhere. She has provided color cover art for Bombay Gin and The Bend. Her prior collections are Company of Women: New and Selected Poems (co-authored with Lylanne Musselman and Mary Sexson, 2013), Imposition of Form on the Natural World (2013), and In and Out of Rough Water (2016). She was a finalist for the Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Prize, the David Martinson–Meadowhawk Prize, and the Ryan R. Gibbs Photography Contest; she has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities for literary scholarship and two Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry. Her one-act play “Katherine and Virginia,” which characterizes the friendship between authors Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf, has been performed in New York City and Indiana. A professor emerita of English (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin) who also holds an M.F.A. (the University of Notre Dame), she now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, near the wild and beautiful coast, where she writes, photographs, and learns about natural history.


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