Jim Schley's Writings

 Praise for Jim Schley’s new book As When, In Season:

"I like these poems immensely. What Schley has done is to reinvent the ode, especially in the nine poems for the muses. Prosodically he’s discovered an odic tone, grave but graceful, imaginatively objective. It’s extremely effective, and it tokens a very large degree of literary depth and experience." — Hayden Carruth

Jim Schley’s first full-length collection of poems is made of sequences that turn upon phases of living — traveler, apprentice, homesteader and new parent, then troubled but still engaged citizen of a village and a world. At the book’s center is a suite of portraits of crucial teachers, where the conventional relation of female muses to male artist is reversed, as these muses are virtuosos, masters of survival and creation.

"I can't think of another male poet who has written so generously of so many women."
— Martha Collins 

"Schley's muse poems . . . are wonderfully inventive, with a grave and stately music . . ."
— David Wojahn

"This is a powerful and beautiful book, completely original. The voices - especially in the odes - sound like absolutely no one else's. Terrific poetry and a serious achievement." - Lynn Emanuel

"Schley's writing is wonderfully fluid and compressed, which is an unusual combination. And the poems that ride down the page, playing touch and go with the right margin, are beautifully musical, the voicing and phrasing precisely marked by the syntax. As a whole, this book is tightly knit, authoritative, and most importantly, a pleasurable read." - Tom Sleigh

"Doom and delight in the poet's scope. The lyric proving itself in glorious humility and radiance, still alive; real women, and the daughter's presence, as well as birds. Here is a book that captured me." - Alicia Ostriker

Praise for Schley’s chapbook One Another: 

"One Another is a series of intimate paeans to daily heroines . . . [and] reveals Schley as a master of atmosphere and inside-the-skin empathy."
— Francette Cerulli, in the Barre-Montpelier (Vermont) Times Argus

"This poet’s particular gift is his ability to fill the old forms with richness of texture and fresher experience, to find a language of paradox and beauty which can both surprise and sustain. He is a man-orchestra, who can play on several instruments at once."
— Kathryn R. Farris, in InPosse Review (webdelsol.com)

“Quite simply the most beautiful book of poems I’ve ever seen.” — Christopher Merrill