nice things people say


“{Their} skill with finer details compares the clicking of airplane seatbelts unbuckling to the sound of dominoes falling. {Ever} is a master of {their} craft, creating a piece that is poignant and raw.”

–New Pages review, “Snap the Whip”

“{Ever’s performance} was a box of mirrors, fragments and reflections, little turns and larger metaphors. Sometimes hopeful, sometimes calm, sometimes rimmed with rage. “A mountain over you taunts you with horizon,” they said at one point, and that line sure stuck.”

–Seattle Review of Books

“These are not poems, but rather a random collection of unrelated sentences that just so happen to be held captive on the same page.”

–Erika, a random critic on Goodreads who added she’d
rather die than go on a hike with me.

“The pronoun says the planet is burning,” {Ever Jones} writes in Wilderness Lessons, a beautiful and profound debut collection of Eco-poetry that is both sharply political and deeply personal. These poems collapse the idea of difference between humans and animals, cities and nature, men and women, self and other, and inhabit that liminal “unbetween” of becoming and loss. In this newly created space, {Jones} explores the no-where land of fluid identity and attention to the smallest details of the natural world. Pristine in its innovative conversation with the history of nature writing, the importance of Ever Jones’s Wilderness Lessons cannot be over-stated. A completely original, stunning new voice in American poetry.”

  –Sarah Messer, Dress Made of Mice

“This engagement with the human element is one of the many wonders of Wilderness Lessons. {Jones’s} poems present the world under our animal eyes in a way that reminds us what there is value in it. I read the poem below this week and am heartened, able to recall that: It is good to be in this body, scrubbing the planet // from our hands, then reaching for more.

–Jose Angel Araguz, Small Fires

Wilderness Lessons offers a gritty exploration of what it is to be this human animal we find ourselves being. How to fit this mammalian suit? How best to be here, together, as a member of Earth’s family? The rootlets tangling these poems run not only through alder leaf and eagle whinny but also story and syllable so that the interplay of language and physical reality keeps bubbling up. I love how these poems dare love, how they ask us to resist the illusion of separateness. They take their risks with quirky twists that lead us into hurt and want and sometimes a sticky and prayerful beauty.”

–Derek Sheffield, Through the Second Skin
“Despite its lack of interest in our cherished exceptionalism, the natural world isn’t vicious. That lies to the often-agonizing social world of human beings. In this resourceful, resolute collection of poems, {Ever Jones} tests the capacity for injury that lurks within language, especially when it roams wild in the barren dinginess of cities and their synthetic monoliths. But these poems also hold words up like clear moments of light reflected from the bodies animating this living, love-nourishing earth. The more-than-human world offers diversity, authenticity, and resilience, all of which are upwell from the depths in this attentive collection.” 

–Elizabeth Dodd, Horizon’s Lens