The Strait explores sensory experiences gleaned from the natural environment, historic traditions, archaeological findings, and folklore of the Pacific Northwest. Jarvis presents a spiritual and honest landscape rich with images and metaphors that define our place in this beautiful, multicultural world and what it means to be human. The poems move from mystical shores to haunting woodlands, a multifaceted exploration of the imaginary and the real.
Praise for The Strait
“‘The burned, broken, and whole…’ These words from Jarvis’s poem ‘Sited Treasure’ encapsulate his richly contemplative and invigorating poetry collection, The Strait. The setting may be the Pacific Northwest, in raw splendor and delicate balance, yet the unfolding occurs in the reader’s heart, as events echo our personal experiences of love, violence, and healing. “So much death in so much life”, the poet tells us. This valiant juxtaposition is as intimate as it is expansive: a thoroughly worthwhile read.
—Sofia M. Starnes, Poet Laureate of Virginia, 2012-2014, author of Fully Into Ashes
“Andrew Jarvis writes the past and gritty present of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In this debut, The Strait guides readers through a spiritual, haunted, and honest landscape, alive with the wise raven in the sky, the hungry sea creatures below, and ancestral memory preserved in the rocks and pictographs. Each poem creates a concise and calculated snapshot of the daily beauty we overlook. Woven between past and present, Jarvis entices readers to rummage the seashore and to journey through the woodlands where they find hope and music within the land and in these powerful poems.”
—Juan Morales, Pilgrimage Magazine
“For most of us the world is soul-less and shadowless and humbled by busy routines. Andrew Jarvis sings of a dimension that is life itself, of creatures that hunt and eat other creatures, of lonely howlers, of each one of us taking our small mysterious portions. Here, the poet is a raven greeting the world in disguise, the broken whale feasted upon by gulls, the hooves removed from an elk, the rat wishing it could jump, an ancient grandfather swimming to the smallest and farthest island to ‘the place where bearded die.’ Haven’t we all wondered what life and time would say if they could speak? Thanks to Jarvis, I wonder no more. Like the dark howler’s lull and hiss and roar, this poet deafens our ears with wild.”
—Barrett Warner, Free State Review