Publication Year

A Skeletal Wand

In her finest collection of poetry to date, Ruth Roach Pierson marshals her considerable expository powers to explore personhood, paranormal phenomenon, and mortality. A Skeletal Wand reaches out with poems that are both honest and strange, touching on a diverse range of subjects that overlap and disrupt easy interpretation. When Pierson writes “For decades her identity / was derivative / like scent / from a perfume bottle,” it is with the belief that character is not set in stone, and that change is inherent to the human condition. Approaching the past and present from many different angles, A Skeletal Wand is a refreshing look at the constants that inform modern life.


Ruth Roach Pierson

Ruth Roach Pierson has published five previous poetry collections - Where No Window Was (BuschekBooks, 2002), Aide-Mémoire (Buschek-Books, 2007), which was a finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Award in Poetry, Contrary Tightrope Books, 2011), Realignment (Palimpsest Press, 2015) and Till I Caught Myself (Seraphim Editions, 2017). She has also edited an anthology of film poems entitled I Found It at the Movies (Guernica Editions, 2014) and published two chapbooks: Aperture (Rufus Books, 2014), containing ten poems inspired by the photography of Josef Sudek, and Untranslatable Thought (Anstruther Press, 2016), a collection of ten centos.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


Personae – The Harangue – A Plague of Ladybugs – The Cranberry Glass Pickle Jar – Plummet, Plunge, Plumed Descent – A Skeletal Wand – Animate Intransitive … 17 $1.70


A wind has come and gone, taking apart the mind – Gone is the girl in her white slip – Beside the mirror over the sink the windows darkened into mirrors – Like an angel slapping … 12 $1.20


Overheard at Chicago Midway International Airport – The Quest – Italy on Five Phrases a Day – Low Tide – Eine Dunkle Seite – Reading Philip Whelan – An Upright … 20 $2.00


Reflective Moments – Stratov Gardens, Springtime – Window of My Studio 1940/44-1954 – Forest Path Leading to the Lair – After Josef Sudek’s Eggshells on Plate … 13 $1.30


Of course, I may be remembering it all wrong after, after—how many years? – Memento Mori – Ontological Inebriation – The Rituals of Autumn – When Sanguinary is Not … 19 $1.90