Jacqueline Jules is a former librarian, who was intrigued by every book she put on the shelf. As a reader and as a writer, she does not restrict herself to one genre.
She is the author of 40 books for young readers on a wide variety of topics, including the Zapato Power series, the Sofia Martinez series, Feathers for Peacock, and Never Say a Mean Word Again.
Her poetry has appeared in over a hundred publications including Evening Street Review, Inkwell, Poetica, Killing the Angel, Soundings Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Potomac Review, Imitation Fruit, Calyx, Broadkill Review, and Pirene’s Fountain.
She has received the Library of Virginia Cardozo Award, the Spirit First Poetry Award, the Sydney Taylor Honor Award, an Aesop Accolade, the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award, and the Arlington Arts Moving Words Award.
Her poetry chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum (Finishing Line Press) and Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), were released in 2014. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband where she spends most of her time exercising, reading, and writing. Visit her author website at www.jacquelinejules.com and her teaching tips blog, Pencil Tips Writing Workshop at https://penciltipswritingworkshop.blogspot.com/
Winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Poetry Prize
Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String by Jacqueline Jules
In the apocryphal story told about Yitzhak Perlman during his concert at Lincoln Center in 1995 when one of the four violin strings suddenly tore, and he proceeded to reconceive and play the entire work with three remaining strings, he said that “sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can make with what you have left.” If ever there were a work that explores the aftermath of loss, it is this powerful and highly original collection by Jacqueline Jules. “Every life is lived on a high wire,/ strung over the treetops…//Don’t expect to feel safe.” The poet reminds us not to waste time grieving over “stolen credit cards” and a “broken car on the day of a big interview.” Reminds us how “Joy sits on a seesaw with Grief.” If it’s divinity we seek, best we gather the “stone tablets” and carry them through the wilderness of time. Consolation can be “sunlight/streaming through/serrated shapes…like fingers” that “wipe” away “tears.” —Myra Sklarew, Author of Lithuania: New & Selected Poems
What plucks at the heart strings of Jacqueline Jules’ intense poems of Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String is a dialectic between faith and loss where science mediates. “Both Science and Faith insist/ nothing is random.” Grief is a squatter—an unwanted presence after friends and family leave the bereaved. The poet dares to challenge Jean-Paul Sartre on despair and suggests to the physical therapist “better to tease a tiger/ than poke a pain.” Everything connects: Emily Dickinson, vending machines, a gypsy girl with rocks in her pockets who steps into a river. This is a smart and smarting journey through the human condition. —Karren L. Alenier, author of The Anima of Paul Bowles
This lovely and moving collection explores what happens when grief is chronic. After the shock of initial loss, when grief becomes a daily companion, we must learn, as Jacqueline Jules wisely writes, to find music in our crippled instruments. Like Jean-Paul Sartre, we “cross that cruel river”; like Isaac Newton, our personal math proves “we are vulnerable to falling objects.” —Kim Roberts, founding editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly
Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String review by Michael Dennis