FINISHING LINE PRESS
the publication of
THE GLASS SPONGE
BY JULIE “JULES” JACOB
“In this strong and vulnerable collection of poetry, the poet spins out a thoughtful imagery of innocence and culpability, for (and of) ‘the users and the abused’. Salvation by imagination is the lifeline running throughout this chapbook - the imagination of other worlds, the worlds of one's own volition - from old baseball fields, to quicksilver waves, to the vast unjudging Milky Way, accompanied by Michelangelo’s angel and Rodin's Cupid. These poems should be read in places where, as the poet puts it, "The Magic Was Missing From The Room", in places where one's "blood runs forsythia yellow", where the signature listeners are soldier-stiff Gapkids facing a tender bleakness. Jules Jacob inhabits a dichotomous world, and with delicate magnetism, draws us into it, in each poem.
-Dr. Harrison Solow. Harrison Solow is a Pushcart Prize winning writer, author and university professor. Her latest book is Felicity & Barbara Pym.
“Jules Jacob is a lyrical truth-teller.”
-Marilyn Kallet, Director, Creative Writing Program, University of Tennessee, Author of 15 books, including Packing Light: New and Selected Poems
“In Jacob’s poetry collection, The Glass Sponge, family is defined with the clarity of the mother, the child, and the wife. In the poem, "Patterns," hopelessness emerges each day, each week, each year... "Step-mother sprawled/in the chair at night/watched TV, drank Long Island Tea/and stole the magic from the room./ Father dozed on the couch/unaware it was missing…”
-Diane Smith, Founder and Editor of the Award Winning Journal, Grey Sparrow, published by Grey Sparrow Press: a 501C3 Corporation
When I began the title poem for my chapbook, I thought I’d come up with a clever oxymoron for its title. I Googled “glass sponge” and was surprised to learn I wasn’t clever or original, and glass sponges were resilient sea animals.
Reef building glass sponges were believed to be extinct for 100 million years until the late 1980’s when the discovery of eight story high reefs of individual glass sponges off the coast of British Columbia shocked the scientific community. Hope popped like corks on New Year's Eve when marine geology and geophysics professor Paul Johnson discovered glass sponge reefs off the coast of Grays Harbor, Washington in 2007. The Washington reefs are estimated to be 9,000 years old. (Some glass sponges live to 15,000 years.) Scientists called these reefs, “Jurassic Park submerged.”
Glass sponges are the world’s oldest multi-celled organism with skeletons consisting of tiny glass shards. They don’t have lungs or mouths and survive by pumping water through their bodies to breathe, feed and remove waste. Their skeletons don’t dissolve in sea water, which explains fossilized glass sponge reefs in Europe estimated to be almost 200 million years old. (Even their remains remain.)
The Glass Sponge is dedicated “to the neglected, the used, the users and the abused.” Ironically, my clever oxymoron turned out to be a fitting title—resilience and hope are crucial in a victim's recovery; in their ability to survive, adapt, repair and grow.
Advance sales for The Glass Sponge began January 18th and end March 6th. Ten percent of each ADVANCE SALES purchase will be donated to CASA of SW Missouri to train advocates to assist the court in protecting the best interests of abused and neglected children.
Order The Glass Sponge online. (Books ship May 3rd.)
As a writer and child advocate, your support is greatly apprectiated.
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...