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Dead Reckoning
May 2021

Pictures of the Afterlife

Jude Nutter

ISBN: 1-903392-26-8

Page Count: 68

Publication Date: Friday, November 01, 2002

Cover Artwork: Louis Schiavonetti

About this Book

"Jude Nutter's early work is measured and precise, elegiac in its sorrow and love for the natural world. It was no surprise when I found she had homesteaded on Wrangell Island in Alaska for ten years, working the land, watching birds, listening to snow, and writing poems. That quality of solitude, patience and a survivalist's strict attention to detail comes through in her work. Nutter's first collection, Pictures of the Afterlife, explores not only the possibility of the spirit's existence after the death of the body, it also includes poems that look at how we navigate the earthly life after loss, trauma, or any event that realigns our consciousness. To paraphrase Adam Philips, these poems are concerned with what can be done with what is left. And her poetry has continued to expand to include her growing passions and concerns - the power and fragility of the body, the intricacies of the mind, and the capacity of the living heart to heal itself. These are intelligent, mature, hardworking poems that are blessed with clarity and complexity, designed to deepen your experience of this world, and prepare you, with tenderness, for what comes next."

Dorianne Laux, Associate Professor of Creative Writing, University of Oregon, Eugene

Author Biography

Jude Nutter is the recipient of several major poetry awards including: the Marlboro Review Prize for Poetry, the Loft National Prize for Poetry, the Listowel Writers' Week Prize in Poetry, the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize, and The Marjorie J. Wilson Award for Excellence in Poetry. She holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Art Printmaking and is graduate of the MFA Poetry program at the University of Oregon, Eugene. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, received an International Merit Award and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three years in a row. In 2002 she received a Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Residency and a State Arts Grant from the state of Minnesota. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, she now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches at The Loft, with COMPAS, at the Weisman Art Museum, and in an alcohol treatment centre for adolescents.

Read a sample from this book


The foxgloves begin that flickering
descentaway from themselves, out
of the visible world: all summer
the narrow sheaths of their flowers
unfurl and the bees, drawn always
by the suck of quiet blooming, arrive
at each slow secret as it rides there
on the thin flame of its stem. And every
flower is bruised hollow with light
and for a while they ignite like the naves
of churches. No wonder the bees
keep nudging beyond the smooth clutch
of the petals and into the widening emptiness
inside those flowers, on fire
with the only burning that counts.

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