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.


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!”

Forthcoming: Shellback

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”

Reading & Conversation with Jeanne-Marie Osterman & Fred Foote

JMO-FF reading

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 Against Bomb: A Doctor’s Poetry of War, winner of the Grayson Books Poetry Prize. A retired Navy doctor and neurologist, Dr. Foote leads the Warrior Poetry Project, which engages veterans with brain injury and PTSD in arts activities and sports activities to promote healing, and is poetry editor of O-Dark-Thirty, the literary journal of the Veterans Writing Project. He is also founder of the Green Road, a $3 million, ½ mile long healing garden for Wounded Warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the nation’s largest hospital-based healing garden.

Jeanne-Marie Osterman is the author of SHELLBACK, a “searing portrait of the poet’s father as a Depression-era boy and a Navy World War II veteran,” forthcoming from Paloma Press. She is also the author of There’s a Hum from 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.

Event Program: Reaching for Joy, Four Poets Read

Reaching-for-Joy-Four-Poets-Read-v4

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-hosted by CAGIBI, a journal of poetry and prose, and Paloma Press, a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent literary press publishing poetry, prose, and limited edition books.

Links to Join and Share

The link to register & join is: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/reaching-for-joy

If you’re on Facebook, an invite to share is: https://fb.me/e/8hk6Uv7nF

Program

Order of appearance. Readers may or may not read from the books presented.

Paloma Press publisher Aileen Cassinetto will introduce Jeanne-Marie Osterman and her forthcoming book of poems Shellback.

Jeanne-Marie Osterman is the author of the book of poems Shellback, forthcoming February 1 from Paloma Press, and 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.

Pre-order Shellback

Janice N. Harrington writes poetry and children’s books. She grew up in Alabama and Nebraska, and both those settings, especially rural Alabama, figure largely in her writing. Her first book of poetry, Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone (2007), won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Her second book of poetry, The Hands of Strangers: Poems from the Nursing Home, came out in 2011, and her third book, Primitive: The Art and Life of Horace H. Pippin, appeared in 2016. She is also the winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Poetry and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for emerging women writers.

Harrington’s children’s books have won many awards and citations, including a listing among TIME Magazine’s top 10 children’s books and the Ezra Jack Keats Award from the New York Public Library.

Harrington’s poetry appears regularly in American literary magazines. She has worked as a public librarian and now teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Illinois.

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Laure-Anne Bosselaar is the author of These Many Rooms (Four Way Books, 2019) and the current Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara.

She is also the author of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, and of Small Gods of Grief, which won the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry. In 2007, Ausable Press published her third poetry collection A New Hunger which the American Library Association selected as Notable Book for 2008. She is also an anthologist, translator, editor and consultant.

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Christopher X. Shade is author of the novel The Good Mother of Marseille (2019) and the book of poems Shield the Joyous (2020). He is co-founding editor of Cagibi. His stories and book reviews have appeared widely, and he has won story awards including the 2016 Writers at Work fellowship competition. He teaches fiction and poetry writing at The Writers Studio. Raised in the South, he now lives with his wife in New York City. His debut book of poems Shield the Joyous is about the loss of loved ones to the disease of addiction.

Order on Bookshop

About Our Hosts

PALOMA PRESS

Established in 2016, Paloma Press is a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent literary press publishing poetry, prose, and limited edition books. Paloma Press believes in the power of the literary arts, how it can create empathy, bridge divides, change the world. We actively engage in “bayanihan”—a term which encompasses community strengthening and cooperation, and nourishing connections and shared identities. To this end, we have released fundraising chapbooks such as MARAWI, in support of relief efforts in the Southern Philippines; and AFTER IRMA AFTER HARVEY, in support of hurricane-displaced animals in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. As part of the San Francisco Litquake Festival, we proudly curated the wildly successful literary reading, “THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND,” and raised money for the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. In 2018, the fundraising anthology, HUMANITY, was released in support of UNICEF’s Emergency Relief campaigns on the borders of the United States and in Syria. Paloma Press continues to donate a portion of its proceeds to non-profits committed to working for racial justice, animal rights, marginalized communities, and climate change.

CAGIBI

CAGIBI is invested in sharing the universal human experiences to be found in works of prose and poetry set within places unfamiliar to readers; thus, our expressed interest in international—or world—literature, and works in translation. CAGIBI is versatile in its purpose and mission to readers and writers. The journal concerns literature in which character conflict, ultimately story, is tied to place. The retreats provide unique and stimulating place experience. In one interpretation, le cagibi is the place at which a writer’s inspiration is rendered into story, or shaped into poem.

Forthcoming: Shellback

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” 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.

Pre-order from Bookshop.