Library of Congress Control Number: 2020935102
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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
Jeanne-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.
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.
“The purpose of the New York City Poetry Festival has been to liberate poets and their work from the dark corners of bars, bookstore, and coffee shops and their halogen-lit college campuses, and to bring together as many NYC poets as possible, in the bright light of day, to meet, mingle, and collaborate.” Here’s Jeanne-MarieContinue reading “Scenes from the NYC Poetry Festival!”
More information about Eileen R. Tabios’ short story collection, Pagpag, here. More information about Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s poetry collection, Shellback, here.
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.
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!”
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.
An Everett native pays a poetic tribute to her father“Shellback” is a collection of narrative poems honoring John D. Osterman, a lifelong Everett resident and WWII veteran. In “Shellback,” Osterman remembers her father from her mid-century childhood to his death at 98 in 2017. The book is set in her Pacific Northwest hometown and theContinue reading “Osterman is featured in HeraldNet!”
From the Academy of American Poets, “This year, to help celebrate the 25th annual occasion of National Poetry Month, we encourage you to check out these new poetry titles from our National Poetry Month partners, sponsors, and advertisers. Poems continue to offer us a sense of connection, and buying poetry books is one of theContinue reading “The Academy of American Poets’ Reading List includes SHELLBACK”
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”
Award-winning poet and bestselling author Maggie Smith just gave Shellback the thumbs up! “New poetry alert! Shellback is a beautiful tribute to Osterman’s father and to memory itself.” Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s collection, Shellback, takes us to the heart of her relationship with her father, a World War II Navy veteran and kamikaze survivor. Set beneath theContinue reading “Maggie Smith tweets about Shellback!”
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!”
Shellback is officially released today! Congratulations, Jeanne-Marie Osterman! Jeanne-Marie is also this week’s featured author in Sapling, Black Lawrence Press’ curated weekly e-newsletter. Read the excerpt below: Sapling: What was your experience with the editing of the manuscript? Did you have an opportunity to make revisions either at your own suggestion or at the suggestion ofContinue reading “Happy Pub Day, Jeanne-Marie Osterman!”
You are cordially invited to a virtual Reading & Conversation featuring Dr. Frederick Foote, author of Medic Against Bomb, and Jeanne-Marie Osterman, author of Shellback, on Friday, January 29th at 2pm PST / 5pm EST. Join here. About the featured readers: Frederick O. Foote, MD, CAPT, MC, USN (Ret.) is the author of Medic AgainstContinue reading “Reading & Conversation with Jeanne-Marie Osterman & Fred Foote”
Four poets — Jeanne-Marie Osterman, Janice N. Harrington, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, and Christopher X. Shade — read from their recent books to honor loss and grief, and at the same time celebrate hope and healing. Join us on Sunday January 24, at 3p PST / 6p EST (see other timezones) for this virtual poetry reading co-hostedContinue reading “Event Program: Reaching for Joy, Four Poets Read”
In honor of Veterans Day (November 11), Paloma Press is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s second poetry collection, Shellback (due out February 1, 2021). “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”Continue reading “Forthcoming: Shellback”