Praise for Learning the Names

While the poems in Jessica Purdy's Learning the Names are armed with a reality made in the image of those most overshadowed of gods they more often than not move and unfold with the logic and intensity of dreams, multi-filing and lifting off from these infinitely-felt memories, their assorted voices just coming to, recovering, what once was thought unfailingly lost, not only by naming but re-christening, striking a-new, thus attaining this unseen kind of omen-status, so camera-ready and ever-inventive, so dramatically and menacingly available at times, they gain one a sort of newly sung reason, understanding
Mark DeCarteret, author of FLAP (Finishing Line Press, 2011)

Jessica Purdy charges everyday acts with the power of transformation. Outside her door, the wing feathers of a pigeon are 'splayed open in a version of praying hands;' walking alone, lust becomes 'like a blue river churning dirt,/ a river that dumps itself/ depleted at the origin.' Questions of love, mortality, and the strangeness of being sing through these beautifully observed poems of discovery and reinvention.
Joyce Peseroff, author of Eastern Mountain Time (Carnegie Mellon, 2006)

Jessica Purdy teaches Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. In 2014, she was nominated for Best New Poets and Best of the Net. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She lives in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Recent Publications

Chapbook: Finishing Line Press


The Telephone Game

Bluestem Magazine

The Tower Journal

The Cafe Review

Off the Coast


The Foundling Review

Halfway Down the Stairs - 3

Halfway Down the Stairs - 1

Halfway Down the Stairs - 2

Literary Mama