To open Janet Joyner’s engaging new collection, Yellow, is to enter a biologist’s notebook. Yet, quickly one realizes it’s not just the natural world being examined here. Over and over, we upturn rocks of words and find the unexpected: a coneflower becomes the lost girl from childhood; holly berries shift into mushroom clouds; the dry season yields fish in drag; the notches on a baboon’s fibula might not be a tool at all but a woman’s menstrual counting; a poem that begins with a destructive tsunami ends at a dishwashing sink. We find love is not always easy. We shudder at the wonder and errancy of the natural and human worlds. We are not shelled with commentary on the state of our world today, but such truths sneak in and surprise us, hitting hard when they land. Yellow is a pleasure to read for its observational perfection and delight; it is also a reminder to the reader to pay attention, to take nothing at face value, and, most importantly, to be fully alive in this world.
–Barbara Presnell, Piece Work and Blue Star
To purchase Janet’s book: Finishing Line Press