Category: Publications

Day One…A Poem a Day in September

Gearing up for my September project, many folks asked me if I would be dipping into the pile of scraps and drafts.  Most of us have these lying around–pieces of writing that have something you think is worth keeping, but the piece hasn’t come together yet.  I bravely said “Nope.  All new, all the time.”  So I started thinking about what constitutes “cheating” when it comes to writing, aside from the obvious plagiarism crimes my students so readily commit.  Refusal to cheat coupled with fear of failure: check out the poem at Tupelo Press 30/30 Project.

Remember, the project is for a good cause, so if you can, consider throwing a few bucks towards Tupelo Press.

More news of the good kind.

My poem “The Balloon Artist Falls in Love” has received Honorable Mention in the 2012 Crab Creek Review poetry contest.  That poem and another, “Heave the Burden,” will be published in their upcoming issue.  Check out the journal at  The judge’s comments on the winning poems appear on the journal’s blog.

The book is out!  If you ordered a copy of The Division of Standards, you should have received it.  I hope you will find something in it that clears a little space in your brain.

To order a copy, you can go to .  I’m hoping to have something set up soon (ahem, Robert?) so you can order both of the chapbooks via this website and save yourself some postage.   In the meantime, I am working away at a book-length manuscript with an incredibly cool title that will only be revealed if and when the book sees the light of day.

On August 23, I will be reading at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts in Ludington, Michigan, my beautiful, odd hometown.  Poetry, beautiful beaches and forests, skeptical locals, and The Mitten Bar.  What more could you ask?    The event also features Mitch Grabois who will be reading from his novel Two-Headed Dog.  Visit for information.

Regarding this website

Thank you for visiting my website. I plan to post occasional updates about readings, new projects, other writers I love, or whatever comes to mind. Below are some links to online journals in which my poetry has appeared so you can take a look at my work. And should you be inclined, you can purchase either or both of my chapbooks through the links on the right. My first book, 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 book, 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, 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. Regarding Facebook, I play Bartleby the Scrivener and declare that I would prefer not to. The Division of Standards has a page of its own but I don’t really use it much and technically, it’s some form of off-shoot from my husband’s account. Please, do contact me via what now seems like an ancient mode of communication: email.

You can contact me at:

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