Letters from Limbo
by Jeanne Marie Beaumont
About the Book
In Beaumont’s new book, Letters from Limbo, voices of the dead reach the living through various means, including the titular letters, revealing experiences harrowing and mysterious. Fluent in many modes, the poet commands varied poetic forms both illuminating and celebrating the haunting truth of our unpredictable earthly sojourn as we dwell in metaphorical limbo.
Adept at teasing out every implication of a word, through ekphrastics, epistolary poems, and lyric, she explores limbo both as a place of afterlife and a state of internal confinement and stasis, “borderlines within which change can occur.” In “Asylum Song,” the book’s middle section, Beaumont excavates as delicately and patiently as an archaeologist the hidden history of her immigrant grandmother who died after three weeks in a state asylum. Throughout, Beaumont’s poems glow with her metaphors’ intelligence, precision, and complexity.
These lucent poems refract our experience as they meditate on a created world, the speaking dead more vibrant, more eloquent for their liminal state. Beaumont has created a universe all her own whose speaking is a unique idiom—timeless and moving and unerringly memorable.
About the Author
Jeanne Marie Beaumont grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. She is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Burning of the Three Fires, Curious Conduct, and Placebo Effects, a winner in theNational Poetry Series. She coedited The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales. She has taught at The Frost Place, Rutgers University, The Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y, and is on the poetry faculty of the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. Since 1983 she has made her home in Manhattan.