Jed Myers and Jill McCabe Johnson — 'Learning to Hold' and 'Tangled in Vow & Beseech'

An evening of poetry at Ravenna!


Third Place Books welcomes back friend of the store Jed Myers and Jill McCabe Johnson to our Ravenna store! Myers and McCabe Johnson will be reading from and discussing their new poetry collections, Learning to Hold and Tangled in Vow & Beseech. This event is free and open to the public.

For important updates, registration is highly recommended in advance. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured books!

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Praise for Learning to Hold. . .

"In Jed Myers’ beautiful and bracing collection, Learning to Hold, we are invited to consider the trauma of war, genocide, and The Holocaust, how 'What stories aren’t told are lived' and 'Memories course the umbilicus.' Myers, situating himself as grandson, son, nephew, and father, dwells on the ways 'murder gets into what’s grown,' while reveling in nature’s increasingly precious splendor. Despite the near-constant backbeat of the human predilection for strife, Myers revels in small moments of gratitude, reminding us 'To stop / and honor the battered heads of the rushes,' and that 'maples and firs … are never toppled to ground / till they’re ancestor old.' In these rhymical and reverential poems, ancestors sputter and flicker like guiding spirits. Fervent and musical, these are the poems I want to reach for as we 'remain mingled / in our mother’s breath.'"
—Martha Silano, author of Reckless Lovely and Gravity Assist

"Jed Myers’ poetic power is the gale force that blows through the pages of Learning to Hold, as this poetry collection wrestles to grasp the whole of humanity’s complexity and brutality. A boy’s childhood begins as 'memories course the umbilicus,' and the legacy of family 'history held in raised hands, winces,/flinches, and those strange-lit dreams' gives way to a larger landscape of the broken and chaotic world, where 'dreams find too much to hold.' But these are not dreamy poems. These poems slip in on gentle breezes but leave the reader wind-slapped, awakened in body and spirit. We feel these poems and trust the poet’s urging to 'get out and love the world, take the road/west, cross the known’s edge, and trust/it isn’t all war zone, this flesh.'"
—Heidi Seaborn, author of An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe and Give a Girl Chaos

Praise for Tangled in Vow & Beseech. . .

"Tangled in Vow & Beseech vows to remember what we lose and beseeches us to embrace every moment. Throughout, McCabe Johnson writes intimately about family, nature, and animals, while also protesting the violences of religion, patriarchy, and racism. The lyricism of these poems carries the speaker into the 'clear slipstream of memory' to 'river me home. River me home.'"
—Craig Santos Perez, author of from incorporated territory [åmot]

"Through an array of poetic forms, Jill McCabe Johnson explores a deep sense of interconnectedness. These lyric tangles help us grapple with a life where the ugliest abuses of person and planet occur alongside a mother's love for her son, the grace of childhood innocence, the anniversary of a first kiss, and the understanding that “in this land” of “dogwood blossom, swordfern and fen” is 'everything' we need to 'believe.'"
—Derek Sheffield, author of Not for Luck, co-editor of Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry

Jed Myers is author of three full-length poetry collections: Watching the Perseids (winner, Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press), and most recent, Learning to Hold (winner, Wandering Aengus Press Editors’ Award). His work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Rattle, The American Journal of Poetry, RHINO, Crab Creek Review, The Greensboro Review, Nimrod International Journal, and elsewhere. Myers lives in Seattle, where he’s Editor of the journal Bracken.

Jill McCabe Johnson (she/they) is the author of three poetry books, two chapbooks, and editor of three anthologies. Her most recent poetry book, Tangled in Vow & Beseech (MoonPath, 2024), was named a finalist for the Sally Albiso and Wheelbarrow Books poetry prizes. Jill is editor-in-chief of Wandering Aengus Press and its imprint, Trail to Table Press. She spends her free time writing, hiking, and in close observation of the natural world.

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

Third Place Books Events Code of Conduct: Third Place Books is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of event attendees and guest authors, during both online and in-store events. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior and harassment of any kind throughout the course of this event (i.e. racial slurs, profanity, hate speech, spam comments, etc.). Please note that any participants who engage in inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind will be immediately ejected from the event.

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