Bone Fires

Bone Fires Cover

Bone Fires

New and Selected Poems

By Mark Jarman

Sarabande Books, Paperback, 9781932511895, 289pp.

Publication Date: February 15, 2011


A striking collection that documents the spiritual and artistic maturation of one of our most distinguished poets.

About the Author
Mark Anthony Jarman is one of Canada s most original and compelling writers of short fiction. Jarman has been a finalist for various literary prizes including the Journey Prize. He graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and taught at the University of Victoria. He is currently a faculty member of the English department at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

Praise For Bone Fires

This is precisely what a new-and-selected collection should be: a book better as well as bigger than any of those its contents are culled from. Confirming the poet’s intergrity and consistency, it attests an invaluably unique poetic personality.”
Ray Olson, Booklist (starred review)

Subdued and tender, almost without a false move, these pages (reminiscent of Carl Dennis) return to the scenes of his first work, the source of his strength. Readers who think they know Jarman all too well may find an enlightening surprise.”
Publishers Weekly

Finally, I admire the way Mark Jarman’s poetry worries spiritual concerns while remaining rooted in the everyday. His Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems collects poems from eight volumes, starting with 1978’s North Sea, and includes 19 new pieces that are as always brave and honest. . . . A great overview collection.”
Barbara Hoffert, 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

This volume of Mark Jarman’s selected poems represents more than thirty years of work and eight books of poetry. The collection offers a look at Jarman’s transition from writing focused on nostalgia and childhood to poems centered on faith and spirituality and the struggle inherent in those ideals.”
American Poet

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.”
Lisa Russ Spaar, Image

Jarman’s spiritual questions intersect within fact, are inseparable fromhis profound regard for the natural world. . . . His just-released collection, Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems, includes recent poems that regard the confounding violence and beauty at the center of life.
Maria Browning, Chapter 16

I wish every congregation could have a Mark Jarman in its midst, because a poet’s tithe of attention and language is as valuable as the widow’s mite. Bone Fireswith its meditations on faith and doubt, hope and silence, and the sacred and desecrated fragments of God’s worldis a gift to the whole church and the whole creation.”
Katherine Willis Pershey, The Christian Century

"Jarman’s new poems are as good as any of his career. . . . Bone Fires serves well as an introduction to the poet’s work, but it must also be welcome to pre-existing Jarman fans. Although there are only 19 new poems, they tackle the full range of his obsessionsfaith, of course, but also family, history, and regret. At 58, Jarman is by no means at the end of his career, in spite of the common assumption that accompanies a book of selected works. This poet seems to anticipate this assumption and answers it in the opening poem, How My Sister, My Mother, and I Still Travel Down Balwearie Road,” which concludes, It is still cold, still dark, just as I said, and late. But not as late as I thought.”
Erica Wright, ForeWord Reviews

Bone Fires is an excellent representative collection of Jarman’s work, perfect for those who are longtime fans or reading him for the first time.”
New Pages

"Jarman, who teaches at Vanderbilt University, writes about family life, memory, grace, the night sky and other mysteries divine."
Ray Waddle, The Tennessean