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Blues for A Rare Moon

Updated: Jan 23

Blues for a Rare Moon, Series Thirty, Alfred Gustav Press, 2023. 

I'm so happy to be part of Alfred Gustav Press Series Thirty poetry chapbook publications along with Byrna Barclay, Steve Noyes and Robert Adams. Blues for a Rare Moon offers poetic translations and meditations on the colour blue. Each chapbook from this press has a unique hand-drawn signifying mark and is personally signed on the cover by the poet. It was a great pleasure to work with David Zieroth and his press team to bring this little book into the world. 

From the back cover

"Blue translated: that's what these poems attempt. They are responses to D.H. Lawrence's challenge: "O what in you can answer to this blueness?" Blues for a Rare Moon offers poetic responses to this call: silence steeped in the bruised songs of humpback whales, a river's deep music, an address book for shadows." 


Jannie Edwards’s ‘Blues for a Rare Moon’ centres on a blue motif as inspired by words and writings ranging from Maggie Nelson and Don McKay to Goethe. From a baby’s ‘fontanel of sheer newness’ in “First Blue” to two explanations for Krishna’s blue skin in “Krishna Blue” to the feeling of ‘Not woebegone. Not that grand’ in “Blue Funk,” the poems cover a spectrum of images in shades of blue that spark a range of emotions. Edwards’s skill lies with minimal forms, including the haiku with an image of the owl and mouse print seen as an angel, and the one with a blue heron taking flight. Distance and longing and faith also form a matrix of themes in association with the colour blue. I like Blue’s response after he ‘hops a dream train to the far distant hills’ and sends a ‘breath postcard’ exclaiming ‘Be where you are. Love.’ A portrait of unrequited love, or maybe not.

  “Blues for a Rare Moon” by Jannie Edwards is great; she’s taken a blue idea in unexpected directions, and I like her endings. There is never that letdown when the poem ends, just another little twist of colour: “…windows draped against / the trespass of light” or “weaves blue longing on the ear’s loom” or “Je ne regret rien / If only.” (Plus I liked finding in her bio the reference to poems sandblasted on the walkway of the High Level Bridge in Edmonton. I know the bridge well sans poems. Poems on the walkway might save some lives.)

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