Jessica L Walsh


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My first full-length collection, How to Break My Neck, is HERE. You can just go to and I’ll send you a signed copy.  Be sure to put your mailing address in the notes section.  The book is also available directly from the publisher.

Check out the latest updates at the Blog  or visit my Facebook  or find me on the Twitters @jessicaleewalsh.

“Kinetic, wary, tense with language that switches gears, contradicts itself, Jessica Walsh’s How to Break My Neck is a collection that makes us readers hold on tight. From the outset the trajectory is ‘doomward,’ pronounced by science and effected by clueless lovers, ‘prison tourists,’ or dystopian figures that lurk about with clipboards, spreading rumors. Nancy Reagan keeps her skirts from flapping in the breeze with drapery weights, but not much else is anchored here. Too much is at stake; too much already lost to a past that needs us ‘to say how lovely’ and the realization that we are ‘failing at this human business.’ We humans ‘may think we’re due some mercy,’ but we’d best think again. Fortunately, thinking itself and the poet’s wonderful wit make for a bracing, if breakneck, ride. The Sixth Extinction has found its poet, and she is us.” –Terry Blackhawk, author of The Dropped Hand and The Light Between

“The poems in Jessica Walsh’s How to Break My Neck are alive, visceral, and softly twitching. Each section beginning with different famous last words, these poems interrogate hard-hitting themes of purpose, mortality, and legacy with beautifully playful language. Whether discussing summer camp or a shark in a tsunami, these poems illuminate what it feels like to live, to be breakable.” –David Rawson, author of A Jellyfish for Every Name and F***head.

 My chapbooks or the full-length collection can be ordered directly through me via PayPal secure payment.  Just send me an email at

My first chapbook, Knocked Around, explores the phenomena of reproduction–the life of life, as it were. The poems come from around the time of my daughter’s birth but I do not consider them autobiographical in a direct way. My second chapbbook, The Division of Standards, centers around how we see ourselves; how we measure our lives’ worth; how we fail and carry on; how we cling to the smallest evidence of beauty, even when no one else sees it.

About The Division of Standards, my second chapbook, poet and editor Susan Terris says:

The poems of Jessica L. Walsh spring from a ‘place of myth.’ Though much of her work is steeped in the surreal, it is grounded in the small, sharp details of our everyday world. She writes compellingly of love and of loss. She may surrender ‘to the hungry ghosts of her path’ but—as an accomplished poet—will always continue to ‘dream of dreams.’

Poet Jack Ridl writes:

Everything shredded is beautiful,’ says the narrator in Jessica Walsh’s collection of unsettling and unsettled poems. Reading these disassembled experiences, reassembled into poems rich with meaningful dissonance, is not unlike coming across a scene weeks later where we wonder, ‘What happened here?’ We are reading within what’s left. This is a world where we wander within regret. This is a world shredded, and we are left to survive; maybe if we’re lucky, to make the best of it; if luckier still, discover that we can be humane within it.

Daughter Stella says, “What.” With the period, not a question mark.

I would love to hear from you about poetry or pretty much anything.

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