Published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University
Mountain West Poetry Series
“Jami Macarty’s poems draw us into the vagaries of human love, just as they implicate us in the ‘menagerie of the surviving world.’ These marvellously immersive poems of the Sonoran Desert and of our human deserts of the heart insist on each step taken, each present moment’s opening perception. Macarty’s lines nudge us toward non-dual Buddhist emptiness in each gap, each leap beyond wording. A must-read.” —Daphne Marlatt
“In these quiet, careful, though searing and poignant poems, Jami Macarty turns her considerable powers toward the dissolution of a romantic relationship in a desert landscape that is at once sustaining and doomed. Here, a body is at one with earthly extinction and failed romance: ‘I am your time to go now.’ These poems are as full of heart as they are of a keen intellect. Exquisitely honed and crafted, The Minuses provides testament to poetry’s ability to speak the unspeakable, to not only survive but to carry on: ‘she’s off-trail but knows her direction.’ This is a beautiful book of courage and the power to live fully, and on this planet, through heartbreak and hard-won joy.”
"The poems in Jami Macarty’s devotional collection swing upon a hinge that is the recurring site of the poet’s perception in time, where what is seen shows the inherent connection of each thing to its other: ‘honey given / honey taken.’ The Minuses’ brilliance lives in what the poet is able to give up for the possibility of finding a wholeness that is ongoing: ‘I come and go / from myself as I am / I will not return.’ A seer is, after all, one who sees. Jami Macarty is one who sees.”
Conjuring the literature of the desert, such as If There Were Anywhere But Desert by Egyptian-French writer and poet Edmond Jabès (translated by Rosmarie Waldrop), Desert Solitaire by American writer Edward Abbey, and Land of Little Rain by American writer Mary Austin, Jami Macarty’s The Minuses beckons attention to ecological and feminist issues and the co-incidence of eating disorders, sexual harassment, family violence, intimate-partner violence, homelessness, suicide, urban encroachment, endangered species, and other forms of disrespect and distress. Split and multi-perspective speakers claim voice from abusive relationships and dysfunctional families as contemplators of natural splendors, and as seekers of incarnate desires. Multiple speakers amplify the endangerments predicating women’s lives and the natural world, laying bare the struggle and faith necessary to endure with integrity and spirit intact.