In her new collection, Let’s End This Now, Jessica Barksdale presents poems that look at the underside of things, the dark parts we might want to avoid but can’t, at least not in this collection. Whether the poems are about motherhood, family, love, work, grief, and joy, we are brought into elements of each topic we had not yet considered. Full of voice, humor, and honesty, these poems yank us into deeper awareness.
"Let’s End This Now is a courageous, haunted, bracingly honest book. In these stylistically spare and emotionally unsparing poems, a woman confronts the hard truths of her own life. She will not look away from her complicated experiences as a sister and daughter, a wife and mother, and states things, often against herself, that others would not say. The result is an unremitting, utterly trustworthy, and unforgettable testament."
- Edward Hirsch, judge, author of The Heart of American Poetry
"Wisdom, humor, grief, and vulnerability abound in Jessica Barksdale’s new collection, Let’s End This Now. Each poem is a celebration of the fact that we live beyond those who leave us when they die, disappear into dementia, grow up, or grow away. For the speakers in Barksdale’s poems, loss doesn’t happen just once but repeatedly and when they least expect it. But when the speaker in "Poets Against Dementia" states, “Let us write poems where we recraft everything,” we want to join in and read on into the unexpected and delightful."