E Jill Bialosky030317 074 Beowulf Sheehan

Poet, Novelist, Essayist, Editor

Jill Bialosky's newest volume of poetry is Asylum: A Personal, Historical, Natural Inquiry in 103 Lyric Sections. She is the author of five acclaimed collections of poetry, three critically acclaimed novels, most recently, The Prize, and a two memoirs, Poetry Will Save Your Life and New York Times bestselling memoir History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, O Magazine, The Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, and Paris Review among others. She co-edited with Helen Schulman the anthology, Wanting a Child. She is an Executive Editor and Vice President at W. W. Norton & Company. In 2014 she was honored by the Poetry Society of America for her distinguished contribution to poetry.

Asylum

This book-length sequence by the critically acclaimed poet is a seeker’s story, revealing personal and historical traumas and how we search for understanding and meaning in their wake.

In Asylum, poet Jill Bialosky embarks on a Virgilian journey, building a narrative sequence from 103 elegant poems and prose sections that cohere in their intensity and their need to explore darkness and sustenance both. Taken together, these piercing pieces–about her nascent calling as a writer; her sister’s suicide and its still unfolding aftermath; the horror unleashed by World War II; the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly; and the woods where she seeks asylum–form a moving story, powerfully braiding despair, survival, and hope. Bialosky considers the oppositions that govern us: our reason and unreason, our need to preserve and destruct. “What are words when they meet the action of what they attempt to modify?” she asks, exploring the possible salve of language in the face of pain and grief. What Asylum delivers is a form of hard-won grace and an awareness of the cost of extreme violence, inexplicable loss, and the miraculous cycles of life, in work that carries Bialosky’s art to a new level of urgency and achievement.

More

Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir

“A lovely hybrid that blends [Bialosky’s] coming-of-age story with engaging literary analysis. … Adults and mature teens will find much to love in this book, which demonstrates how poems can become an integral part of life. It also suggests, on every page, the wisdom and deep compassion that make [Bialosky’s book] a tremendous asset both to readers and other writers.”
The Washington Post

The Prize

“The Prize is a subtle, incisive, and erotically charged exploration of the dark crossroad where art, money, and obsession converge. Jill Bialosky has written a true and dangerous novel.”
—John Banville, author of The Sea

The Players

The strongest collection yet from this widely praised poet is about the central players in our lives, our relationships over time — between mother and son, mother and daughter-and how one generation of relationships informs and shapes the next.

History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life

New York Times Bestseller

“Extraordinarily useful... a source of solace and understanding. [Bialosky’s] hand is always skillful, as attentive to the rhythms of storytelling as to conveying emotion.”
—Time

“Valiant and eloquent... Bialosky’s thoughtful book elucidates the complexity of suicide.”
Washington Post Book World

Intruder

Finalist in the 
2009 Paterson Poetry Prize.

“These poems show both a storyteller’s gift for implicit narrative and a sophisticate’s sense of other arts ... Bialosky’s book ends up undeniably personal, confirming her in her most serious of all her vocations: the setting down of a tumultuous inner life into clear, shared words.”
Publishers Weekly

The Life Room

“[A] suspenseful tale of Eleanor's relationship with the magazine hack. Through him, Bialosky explores the idea that needy people are often the most powerful and destabilizing. We’re not sure why Eleanor wants to have an affair with him, but we believe she does — and with a kind of reckless illogic that would do Tolstoy proud.”
New York Times Book Review

House Under Snow

“This artful first novel by the poet and editor Jill Bialosky is a quiet stepsister to Rick Moody's The Ice Storm.”
— New York Times Book Review

“An elegiac novel of a father's sudden death and its lingering effect on the family he leaves behind.”
— The Washington Post

Subterranean

Finalist for the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets.

Jill Bialosky follows her acclaimed debut collection, The End of Desire, with this powerful sequence of poems that probes the subterranean depths of eros. Gerald Stern has called Bialosky “the poet of the secret garden, the place, at once, of grace and sadness,” and here she enters that garden again, blending the classical with the contemporary in bold considerations of desire, fertility, virginity, and childbirth.

The End of Desire

Jill Bialosky's first collection of poems is an exceptional one—moving, very accomplished, marked by an unflinching realism and a sharply observant eye combined with great technical skill. Childhood and adolescence shattered by a father's death and the struggles of a mother to raise her daughters are among its concerns. The poems have a dignity and magic that are quite distinctive.