keeper

“This debut collection is nearly perfect—measured, never pretending to ask more than it can deliver, and yet producing poem after proportional poem with a satisfying precision… Jueds tackles everything with a strong, sure intelligence, unravelling the ‘reverse sides’ in order to see how the world works… This outstanding collection is the result of… careful, microscopic looking, and from the attention this poet has paid to her sinuous craft. Kasey Jueds is a keeper.” —Judith Kitchen, The Georgia Review

My first book, Keeper, won the 2012 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Keeper is a book of lyric poems concerned with relationships of different sorts—with the natural world, with people and animals, and with the unseen and unknown.

reviews & praise for Keeper

Book cover

To buy: from your local independent bookstore, or the University of Pittsburgh Press, or Powells, or in paperback & Kindle on Amazon.

  • Ann Fisher-Wirth’s super-generous review of Keeper is here in the Valparaiso Poetry Review.
  • Here is Judith Kitchen’s review of Keeper and four other books in the Georgia Review. It’s incredibly perceptive, thoughtful, and large-hearted. Thank you, Judith.
  • This is a lovely review of Keeper on the Review a Week blog.
  • A generous review of my book and Annie Lighthart’s Iron String on the Glyph blog.
  • The very kind Martha Silano wrote this post/mini-review about Keeper. Thank you so much, Martha!

“This perceptive, sensual history of a soul grows more bold and mysterious as it unfolds: to show a life pondering what to keep, what to lose, what to leave, and what to find: and discovering that, as an old gravestone says, what we had, we have.”

—Jean Valentine

“Kasey Jueds’s poems make my arterial blood rush! She is so uniquely attuned to the world, such a close noticer of both the human and the natural world (and both as one) that I often feel her poems are not so much about something as they are the actual things, the actual embodiments of their subjects. Isn’t that what good poems are supposed to do? I say, yes!”

—Thomas Lux

“From the very first poem, ‘The Bat,’ we know we are in the presence of a vibrant new voice, confident and true. Jueds has a sensitive ear and a sharp eye. These poems of memory, of the natural world, and of art go from the specific to the abstract with amazing ease. ‘How perfect the things we are not meant to see,’ she tells us, even as she is showing us these very things.”

—Linda Pastan

“[Jueds’s] poems are deceptively accessible. She writes about animals, places, weather, personal experience, firmly grounded in the actual. Yet one gradually becomes aware of an undertow, a spirituality that does not call attention to itself at first, but that gathers power upon rereading… Keeper explores the more mysterious and melancholy reaches of the self in its dance with vanishing.”

—Ann Fisher-Wirth, Valparaiso Poetry Review

“One recent book that should be on many bookshelves is Kasey Jueds’s Keeper. This book is packed full of gorgeous imagery and palpable metaphors. Her voice resonates as both mature woman and innocent child… worthy of multiple reads.”

—Ashlie McDiarmid, examiner.com

“[Jueds’s] metaphors are sensuous and original as they blend fact with imagery, the actual with the abstract… Each particular experience grows into another and eventually into something bigger, something universal… The pleasure that comes from reading Jueds’s poems is that we can slip inside them, be held in their stories, and transformed by their explorations and discoveries.”

—Michelle Gillett, Crab Creek Review

“… One of the strengths of Keeper is its remarkable unity; if there is one word to describe Jueds’s collection, it is longing, and the book’s shape is its natural expression… The collection never wears thin, because Jueds’s ear is so fine, her voice so well-modulated.”

—Kathleen Flenniken, The Manhattan Review

“These are poems of quiet revelation. They show me a mind thinking, in images and through metaphor, turning an idea over and then over again. Reading Jueds’s work feels like walking around a large scuplture, noticing how it seems to move of its own accord, responding to our angle of vision.”

                                                                                               —Lynn Domina, A Review a Week

“In Keeper, Kasey Jueds leads the reader through spaces both urban and rural (from San Francisco to snowbound Wisconsin), both grand and minute (from the vast span of the sea to the interior of a mailbox). Yet all these images are bound together by the ceaseless desire Keeper inspires in the reader: to be transformed by one’s surroundings, to unravel the world’s most slippery and liminal truths, to unbind oneself from one’s own inarticulate flesh.”

—Glyph Journal