Shellback

SHELLBACK
poems

JEANNE-MARIE OSTERMAN

ISBN 978-1-7344965-3-6
Library of Congress Control Number: 2020935102
Pages: 82
Price: $16.00
Distributors: Ingram (wholesale), Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, or purchase directly from the publisher, editor@palomapress.net

Thank you so much to everyone who already bought a copy of Shellback! Please consider posting a review here and here.


Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s second poetry collection, Shellback.

“A not-untroubled tribute and a difficult elegy, Shellback traces the attachment of a daughter to her father from her childhood days of trying “to be his boy” to the grown-up’s task to be his caregiver in his last years. Including horrific details from the father’s WWII Navy service in the Pacific, which the poet memorializes in blunt, terse lines, alongside the harrowing specifics of his decline, Osterman limns a portrait of a complex relationship. Marked by candor and clear-sightedness, these poems resist soothing resolutions and easy solace, which is why they are sure to ring true to readers.”
—Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Letters from Limbo

Shellback is an elegy for a man who taught his youngest daughter how to “stretch a buck, drive a truck, / anchor a screw, win at gin rummy.” Jeanne-Marie Osterman toggles between nightmarish scenes her father witnessed during World War II and the smaller but no less affecting traumas of his final months in a nursing home. Her language is spare and colloquial, with moments of irony and deadpan wit that illuminate every detail. The arduous work of losing and grieving is beautifully preserved in these poems, which in their vividness function like a series of photographs. Or a time capsule. Or amber—something tough, primordial, and nearly clear. Osterman conveys, impeccably and with unflappable grace, the hard-earned knowledge that “no one is only / their sins.”
—Mark Bibbins, 13th Balloon

The beautifully sequenced poems in Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s Shellback yield a searing portrait of the poet’s father as a Depression-era boy and a Navy World War II veteran, given to emotional coldness and barely repressed anger. Their poignancy resides in the poet’s filial devotion, her wish to understand him and care for him in his old age. As Osterman writes in “Forgive:” “I let memories I can’t erase / rest in peace, / knowing no one is only their sins.” With often haunting imagery and carefully clipped lines, she memorably portrays a man, his era, and a daughter’s unstinting love.
—Gardner McFall, On the Line

ostermanJeanne-Marie Osterman is the author of There’s a Hum (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in Borderlands, Cathexis Northwest, 45th Parallel Magazine, The Madison Review, and elsewhere. A finalist for the 2018 Joy Harjo Poetry Award and 2017 Levis Prize in Poetry, she is poetry editor for Cagibi, a journal of prose and poetry.


Pushcart & Best of the Net Nominees

Congratulations to this year’s Pushcart & Best of the Net nominees! Jeanne-Marie Osterman, Jacki Rigoni, Lara Stapleton (Paloma Press) Cole Eubanks, Eugene Gloria, Veronica Kornberg, Jenna Le, Esteban Rodriguez, James J. Siegel (MiGoZine, Pushcart) Tamiko Beyer, Karla Brundage, Clara Hsu, Hilary King, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Timothy Liu (MiGoZine, Best of the Net)

More accolades for Osterman’s Shellback!

After earning the coveted Kirkus star, Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s SHELLBACK is a Staff Pick at the New York Public Library! Congratulations, Jeanne-Marie! Fresh from the success of SHELLBACK, Osterman won the 2021 Slipstream Press Chapbook Competition and her most recent work appears in New Ohio Review.

Osterman reads Tabios!

More information about Eileen R. Tabios’ short story collection, Pagpag, here. More information about Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s poetry collection, Shellback, here.

10th Annual New York City Poetry Festival

Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s Shellback & Christopher X. Shade’s Shield the Joyous will be available at the 10th Annual New York City Poetry Festival, July 24 & 25, at Colonel’s Row, Governors Island, New York, New York. Check back for more info.

A KIRKUS STAR FOR SHELLBACK!

Not only is Jeanne-Marie Osterman‘s Shellback chosen by Kirkus‘ Indie Editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews (June 15 issue), it also gets a Kirkus Star (only 2% of books reviewed get a star)! Huge congratulations, Jeanne-Marie! The Kirkus Star One of the most coveted designations in the book industry, the Kirkus Star marks booksContinue reading “A KIRKUS STAR FOR SHELLBACK!”

SHELLBACK, a Kirkus top indie press book!

Courageous, insightful, and unsettling poems about war and family ties. KIRKUS Kirkus reviews SHELLBACK by Jeanne-Marie Osterman, one of this year’s top indie press books! Read the full review here.

Writers Live: Everett Poetry Night with Steve K. Bertrand & Jeanne-Marie Osterman

Join the Everett Public Library for a celebration of poetry on April 20 at 5pm Pacific. Everett Poetry Night will feature two poets whose work is inspired by their lives and experiences in Everett.  Steve K. Bertrand and Jeanne-Marie Osterman will talk about poetry and each will read a selection of their Everett-inspired poems. SteveContinue reading “Writers Live: Everett Poetry Night with Steve K. Bertrand & Jeanne-Marie Osterman”

Osterman’s Shellback: #450 in Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank!

Congratulations to Jeanne-Marie Osterman whose recently released poetry collection, Shellback, has gone from Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank (American Poetry Books) #6,569 to #450 as of February 19th! Osterman and her book are also mentioned in the January issue of the Granite Falls Historical Society Newsletter: A social media post by Fred Cruger further details Osterman’sContinue reading “Osterman’s Shellback: #450 in Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank!”

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