The poems in Jeanette Marie Clough’s Island are insistent testaments to the ability of precise observation to reveal the emotional secrets that lie under surfaces. Often dazzling, always smart, they transport the reader to many places—Southeast Asia, Scotland, the California desert, the neighborhoods of greater Los Angeles—every landscape meticulously dressed in the names of its rocks, flora, colors, tastes, and sounds. Yet, it is the familiar islands of yearning, anguish, anonymity, and disillusion, whose scenery is beyond description, to which Clough ultimately brings us in these poems, in a language that is both brilliant and startling in the depth of its concern and understanding.
— David Oliveria
Jeanette Clough's elegant language, fluid craft, vivid intellect and precise heart make Island a stunning meditation on place, self and Other. All the poems shine, particularly "Letters from Atlantis," a series rich with desire and surrender, with the poetic enchantment we've come to expect from this wonderful poet. She draws us magically into the true home of lyric poetry, between the actual and the ephemeral: "...where space is thin and I can walk right through.
— Holly Prado
Jeanette Clough shows us that the world – in its many places and parts – is one world, if looked at simply, rightly. To make art, we must pay close attention to the world in its elemental and everyday details. Jeanette Clough does this wonderfully in these new poems, always focused on the small but essential meanings that might be revealed to us. And with and eye for our common history – lost or yet t come – she offers a vision and language that reach for transcendence.
— Christopher Buckley
Jeanette Clough’s meticulous observations, and her elaborations of the particular, always remind me of those of Elizabeth Bishop. Just as Bishop’s compassionate, unromantic, delicate and generous scrutiny of the natural world made possible the revelation of an equally complex interior world, so too do Jeanette Clough’s passages through landscape and circumstances reflect the interior complexity of a brilliant and incisive observer. Jeanette Clough’s poems are inevitably songs of one’s place in the world, of one’s constantly shifting place in both the natural world and the world desired in one’s heart and imagination.
— David St. John