Heaven (Middlebury, 2000)
Posted: June 30, 2008
"Only the best writers put us right at the site of myth and thus assert, for us, our right to be part of the beginning and end of any world, any heaven. That Jill Alexander Essbaum does it so quietly, so delicately, and puts herself, and us, at the center of Heaven itself leads me only to envy. For how else can one convincingly transcend the domestic? There is simply no self-congratulation in these poems. Just a graceful, magical way of taking oneself -- and one's bare uncertainties -- for granted."
-- Agha Shahid Ali, Judge
Essbaum’s first book won the 1999 Bakeless Publication Prize in Poetry. She has also been a semi-finalist in the New Issues Press contest for Darling, her M.A. thesis. She was recently awarded an NEA fellowship.