Richard Jackson

Half Lives Petrarchan Poems

Keeping the sonnet structure, these poems vary from "riffs" to loose translations of Petrarch's poems.

" Petrarch is the spark, but Jackson's the one on fire."
-Marvin Bell

"Richard Jackson makes me love Petrarch again, his personifications and conceits, his metaphysics, his profound intelligence, his heart. Here is our first modern poet reinvented. And here is the poet -- Rick Jackson -- with the heart to do it, with sweep and vision."
-Gerald Stern

"Jackson's method might be termed 'appreciations,' in that what he is after is a Petrarch in thrall as much as he is in love, in doubt as often as he is certain -- a Petrarch willing, in other words, to demonstrate, not simply articulate, his longing. Jackson casts the sonnets and canzone in the embracing bear hug of his own style, which means full lines filled with mixtures of image as well as multilevels of energy."
-Stanley Plumly

Selected Works

Poetry, Art
41 American poets respond to drawings by Slovene Artist Metka Krasovec that are themselves responses to Emily Dickinson lines.
Poems sent as responses to each other over the course of a year
THE TRAIL When do you realize the selves you left behind have gone on without you, living the many lives you now begin to resemble? So the day hesitates as if caught in headlights. So the words you write seem like nonsense someone left on your desk. The trees pretend to be listening. The owl cares less who you are. If you are lucky thereís a single word you can take refuge behind. It seems there is something happening of great importance but the heartís trail guide herself is lost. Almost invisible, the ants carry bits of leaf twice their weight back to the nest. The warning squirrels wonít stop warning. Then you see that what you have written are wrong directions, scribbled in a language of condolences, but unable to apologize, missing the pronouns, missing a destination, missing yourself.
Very brief description goes here
Isn't everything and everyone from a place they are no longer at, that is, out of place?
January 2010, Ashland Poetry Press. Cover by Metka Krasovec, Slovenia.
Puddinghouse Chapbook, 2004
Juniper Prize Winning Book from UMass Press, 2000
Sonnets and a Canzone based on Petrarch's Rime Sparse
Translations of Jackson's poems into Slovene
hand sewn and printed, Flagpond Press, 2002
Limited Edition, Aureole Press, 1999, Pterarchan Poems
Cleveland State University Press, 1992
U of Alabama Press Prize Winner
Grove Press, 1983
Poetry Translation
Translated with Susan Thomas and Deborah Brown
Translation of book of poems by Alexsander Persolja
50 Slovene Poets, facing Slovene
Aleph Press, Ljubljana, 1993
30 Interviews, U of Alabama Press, 1983 Choice Award
Philosophical essays on 6 poets, U of Alabama Press, 1987 Agee Award