Books & Reviews

Against all that’s occurring around us, the very existence of these poems seems a miracle–their deep shimmering beauty, their sense of mystery, as full of light as shadow, and a kind of inviolate purity rare in today’s poetry, rare anywhere. Lois P. Jones is a remarkable imagist and an uncommon talent. And it occurs to me that these poems hold just what readers so often turn to poetry for, to be carried deeper into themselves and also into the sensory, and sensual, outer world, and toward that indestructible goodness that prevails through time and against every opposition.

~ Suzanne Lummis, author of Open 24 Hours

Here is a poet who dares everything—she sings, she philosophizes, she converses with the dead—to bring us closer, impossibly, to what we have lost. “I will be the spirit of your / departed,” she writes. And so she is, in every haunted line, but she is also a guide to our arriving—in this world, where the living is.

~ Joseph Fasano, author of Vincent

Lois P. Jones’s Night Ladder chronicles how the world moves spiritually and sensually through us, while also recognizing how we move through the world, watching “clouds/ turn from oblivion into spectacle,/ burning the world as they go.” There is a timelessness to these poems, a conversation with the present as well as with Lorca, Rilke, Picasso, and more—as if the voice of this book has slipped the temporal bounds that tether most voices to a date in history, a moment in time. Jones asks: “…what can we carry but a chance// to remember how a man is a lantern/ lowered into the earth.” Astonishing. Beautiful. The poems in Night Ladder guide us on an exploration of that eternal question with a deft and mature hand. You’ll likely read these poems in quiet solitude, and then, I hope, you’ll want to share them aloud with someone you love.

~ Brian Turner, author of My Life as a Foreign Country

In Splendor Lois P. Jones describes… What the photographer captured/ when she slipped the lens/ inside the cello to reveal/ the prayer that burns inside/ every instrument/ and you stood in its teak room/ awash in the cleft of light… This astounding image encapsulates how poem after poem takes the reader of Night Ladder to the brink of the mystical and mundane, a visioning from the inside through a synesthetic response to paintings, music, places, history, love and desire. In refusing to deny the presence of the sacred in a life, maybe especially a secular life, she shows us how transformation waits at the edges of the simplest experiences. All of this and a pitch perfect ear make this book a necessary, inspiring, and beautiful guide to mindfulness. I would follow Lois P. Jones wherever her poems lead.

~ Mary Kay Rummel, author of The Lifeline Trembles and Cypher Garden

Night Ladder


An Offering to Mind and Body: A Review of Lois P. Jones’s Night Ladder

Review: Night Ladder by Lois P. Jones (reviewed by Toti O’Brien)