The Watch

Norita Dittberner-Jax

In her second full-length book of poetry, Norita Dittberner-Jax embraces family, art, loss, and the beauty of human experience.

In elegantly simple language, Dittberner-Jax makes the rooms within her poems rich with family. Her poetry is an act of praise; the poet feels “perfect sense” rather than knows it. She “draws the sweetness” out of her life, the body, art, family, home; she calls it pleasure and demands remembrance and regret for what has been lost. These poems were made of love.

- Sharon Chmielarz, author of The Other Mozart and The Rhubarb King

In The Watch, Norita Dittberner-Jax’s devotion to poetry, to memory, illuminates each poem. In January, Two Weeks In, she says, “...we have only this,/a fir tree, our tannenbaum, to keep the memory of the forest, /of bear and deer, the earth’s time,/long and steady...” and we watch her keep earth’s time with great faithfulness in this new collection. She also keeps time with history, and kin, in steadfast ways. Many of us who have waited for the new work in The Watch will be moved once more by Dittberner-Jax’s commitment to sharing the meaning of a life lived and reflected on. These poems are written with beauty and authority. This poet knows what matters in a human life, and claims her wisdom, her way of seeing how life goes, with great intention. She understands her richest inheritance and states it in each poem with eloquence.

— Deborah Keenan, author of Willow Room, Green Door: New and Selected Poems

This surprisingly clear-cut book of poems is as honest and real as one can get. At a time when so much vanity is apparent in so much poetry, Dittberner-Jax writes about her life, her grief and joys, with undiluted clarity, with admirable humility, if the word can be salvaged for its nomic value. The poems smile with sadness and exult with certainty. And often we are greeted with surprises that ring true and feel unsought, reminding us that the unsolicited surprise is always the best. I am talking about a freshness inherent in the heart...

- Alvaro Cardona-Hine, author of The Curvature of the Earth

Read a sample poem: "How to Live"

ISBN 978-0-9800375-4-8       $12 US       Includes free shipping!

Norita Dittberner-Jax has been widely published in the small press. Her book of poems, What They Always Were, won the Minnesota Voices Competition and was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award. She is one of the poets featured in Thirty-Three Minnesota Poets; her chapbook, Longing for Home, appeared in 2008. She lives and teaches in St. Paul.

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