Jory Post

The Extra Year: (Softcover: $15, 90pp, 6X9”: ISBN: 978-1-68114-508-2; Hardcover (cloth): $30: ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-509-9; EBook: $2.99: ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-510-5; LCCN: 2019911695; Poetry—Subjects & Themes—Death, Grief, Loss; Release: October 1, 2019): The emphasis of The Extra Year focuses on the responsibilities of the poet: to observe, track, and share details of the human condition with others, especially in times of illness. In October 2018, Post was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, with a bleak prognosis given the tumor wrapped around a major artery. This hasn’t hindered him from living a full and active life and keeping positive for himself and those around him. In late February, he began taking a poetry workshop from Santa Cruz County poet laureate, Danusha Laméris. In five months, he has written over 200 poems, and has poems published in or to be published in three national literary magazines. The Extra Year tracks the progression of his physical and mental states after six months of chemotherapy and a soon-to-be Cybernife radiation procedure, with poems that delve into death and dying, humor, anger, and the joy of being alive.

Of Two Minds (Softcover: $15: ISBN: 978-1-68114-535-8; Hardcover: $30: ISBN: 978-1-68114-536-5; EBook: $2.99: ISBN: 978-1-68114-537-2; LCCN: 2020907679; Poetry—Subjects & Themes—Death, Grief, Loss; Cover Images: “Bird and Reflection” photo by Irene Reti; Author photo by Karen Wallace; Release: July 1, 2020; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble): is the second in a trilogy of poetry books dedicated to the thoughts and meanderings of a born-again poet who carries with him not only a desire to hunt and gather and collect everything he can but also a persistent pancreatic tumor that provides a hauntingly realistic filter through which to observe the world and the people and animals that inhabit it.

“More than any book I can think of, Jory Post’s prose poetry collections incant the brief and brilliant present moment. Illness is the dark side of the dharma of now, and Post takes us along to the oncologist and the operating room while also surging through days with the artist’s eye, missing no bloom or bowl of oatmeal or vicarious mountain hike. Each poem sends out a blinking light that sets the next one in motion, and the work becomes a remarkable record of the way a mind recovers the pieces of a life as a daily practice, the way it multiplies and holds an accordion of thought. In these compressed narratives befitting of urgency, he floats above canyons, is a burning star, a search light, beckoning us to make a bright spectacle of ourselves, one more time. Of Two Minds is an invitation, an ephemera room, a memory garden, a singular moment where a cabinet of surprise awaits.” —Jennifer K. Sweeney

“Jory’s second book of poems astonishes with the lightness with which it lands on heavy subjects. It takes the smallest observations of the world—the medical rigamarole of chemo treatments, unusual number correspondences, overhead phrases, an invasion of butterflies, French toast with real maple syrup at the Silver Spur, a friend’s tomatoes, seeing faces in the pot de crème—and turns them to see what light they’ll refract. These poems are fearless, whimsical, and deeply spiritual. For instance, ‘Buzz,’ starts as a meditation on a saw’s new gizmos, invented to protect life, turns towards one thing the saw might make, and then dismantles it: ‘For my next project, I’ll take the coffin I’ve been imagining, cut it into small strips. Carve matchsticks. Add sulfur tips. Burn my future into something new.’ Such imaginative leaps surprise with the happy rightness of their discoveries. These poems face death but celebrate life, with all its quirky, quotidian joys, pulling us in to celebrate what writing can conjure—both in the speaker, and in all of us willing to slow down and listen. Dip in. Travel with Jory. His words hold us. Together.” —David Allen Sullivan, Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz county

“In Jory Post’s Of Two Minds everyday objects and animals set the poet’s mind in motion, leaping from memories to the measurements of the body to the stories of the stars. This collection of prose poems knows how to savor the repetitions of the daily. Acutely aware of time and its passage, these poems remind us to ‘take a look inside, watch the then, now and later.’Post is a collector who searches through flea markets and conversations and gives everything—bright or dull, new or used, present or timeless—a second look.” —Traci Brimhall

Jory Post has been an educator and writer for 40 years as well as making handmade books and journals with his wife, Karen, as JoKa Press. He participates in a playwriting group, a fiction writing group, and a poetry workshop with Santa Cruz County poet laureate, Danusha Laméris. He is the cofounder and editor of phren-z, an online literary magazine, serving Santa Cruz County writers for 8 years. His fiction and poetry have been published in Catamaran Literary Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Porter Gulch Review, Red Wheelbarrow, 82 Review, and upcoming in The Sun. “These poems, written in a burst of productivity following a diagnosis, are smart, merciless missives sent from the edge of time. Poems that reveal a mind that wants to know all it can; about the nest of a hooded oriole, the theory of relativity, the behavior of humans on the oncology ward, the powers of the Linear Accelerator, a spider’s web in a rear-view mirror. Here is a heart brave enough to grieve all it has ever loved. And a speaker who takes the time to sift through the dirt, find riches, and lay them out for us, one gem at a time.” —Danusha Laméris

“Bracingly honest and beautifully wrought, Jory Post’s The Extra Year explores mortality as well as the business of living. ‘The orchids plunging from their vase over the counter in the infusion room are beyond gorgeous,’ he writes in ‘Orchids.’ His wife’s snoring sounds like ‘…percussive inhaling, cello and bass on the exhale, an occasional hint of tuba…’ A playful humor runs through many of the poems, both belying and intensifying the subjects. ‘On the third day, the earth of my skin began to dry and flake, the sea of my bladder began to release six times a night, and someone from Kuala Lampur hijacked my Netflix account,’ he writes in ‘Innocence.’ The Extra Year is extraordinary in its scope. Post shares with us not only his fear of ‘the hot eye of death,’ but his love of flea markets, Crème brûlée, the art of Joseph Cornell, and above all, his family and friends. What emerges is the story of a life well lived, told movingly and poignantly—‘Equal parts of poise and urgency.’” —Ellen Bass

“In his marvelous new book of prose poems, Jory Post asks, ‘What would I do if I was given an extra year?’ This is not idle speculation. We learn early on that Post is writing in the shadow of a terminal cancer diagnosis, though he is determined ‘not to fuss about it too much.’ In that spirit, he has written a book not about dying, but about living, and living wholeheartedly, without regret or reservation. Cancer is a lens that seems to have brought the world into unnerving clarity, and Post shares his many delights—in flowers, birds, history, good friends, good meals, and above all, a loving wife. The Extra Year is also a celebration of the writing life, and it’s clear that Post lives to write, and writes to live. His collection is both a reminder that life is a gift, and a challenge to embrace it as wholeheartedly as we can.” —Gary Young

“Rainier Maria Rilke said that for a poet there are two kinds of poems: the ones a poet writes and the ones a poet has to write. The latter are what he called poems of necessity, poems that make a difference in our lives. In The Extra Year, Jory Post has given us those necessary, significant poems. Mortality and the imminence of dying is the window that frames the vision of this astonishing book. With candor, wit, and a deep humanity Jory Post details a reverence for life out of the ordinary and commonplace of our days. He beholds the world with wonder, graciousness, and gratitude. His mantra is ‘mourn, remember, celebrate.’ This is a book you can return to again and again. I know of no other work quite like it.” —Joe Stroud

Press Coverage:

The KSQD Hive Interview with Jory Post: A conversation between Santa Cruz poet laureate Danusha Laméris and Jory Post. They talk about about Phren-z, Santa Cruz Writes, health, illness and the prose poem. It includes a discussion of and reading of some of Jory’s recent work in his recently published book, The Extra Year. Available at https://anchor.fm/the-hive8/episodes/Interview-with-Jory-Post-by-Danusha-Lamris-e45j2k.

Video of Jory Post Reading 12 poems from The Extra Year: A 16-minute film produced and shot by Jon Silver of Jory post reading 12 poems featured in his new book of prose poetry, The Extra Year. View the video at https://vimeo.com/358900973.

Re-Publication in The Sun: September 20, 2019: Jory Post had five poems from his book, The Extra Year, published in the October 2019 issue of The Sun. The poems “Lather,”  “Role Model,” “The Extra Year,” “Almost Done,” and “Port” can be found in The Sun’s online version here.

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