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Distributed by YesYes Books and Ingram

Cover & Interior Design: Alban Fischer

$18  |  ISBN: 978-1-936919-95-6

Poetry  l  96 pages   |  Aug 15, 2023


About the Author

JILL MCELDOWNEY is the author of Otherlight (YesYes Books, 2023) and the chapbook Airs Above Ground (Finishing Line Press, 2019). She is an editor and founder of Madhouse Press. Her previously published work can be found in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Muzzle, Vinyl, and other notable publications.


SKU: 2301004
  • OTHERLIGHT by Jill Mceldowney is here!!!


  • Praise for Otherlight

    The poems in Otherlight are not afraid to ask “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”as they take the reader to that very place. Jill Mceldowney’s collection tells the story of love, loss, addiction, and the nonlinear path of survival. It’s an account of witness and culpability, what happens to those left grieving: “I sit here perpetually/inventing lives more terrifying to live—/as if reality were not enough.” The poems do not shy away from the ugly, but rather declare it. Otherlight weaves dream, confession, and psychopharmacology notes as a method to grasp what remains. And what remains is the ache and beauty of memory: “Apocalypse doesn’t mean end/ it means future/brighter than where we are now.” 

    -Diannely Antigua, author of Ugly Music

    Jill Mceldowney’s Otherlight holds the fractured syllables and images of grief the way a hand might hold a broken glasswithout trying to reassemble the pieces, but instead letting the shards glisten until they become their own beautiful and terrifying language. Through unfurling ephemera and dialects of memory, Mceldowney creates a voice steeped in longing, a collage of utterances and collapse, that when pushed to the point of breaking, push even further into the reaches of elegy, where we might not find comfort, but something more real and resilient: a reckless fearlessness and unapologetic vulnerability. "I hope where you are is vast, real/ impossible—/a better oblivion,/ more sky—/ I hope where you are is nothing/ like home."

    —Kendra DeColo, author of I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World


    Jill Mceldowney’s Otherlight plunges us into the rarefied limbo of grief. Suspended in time, in action, in ice, its speaker is halfway out the door of this world—is half-turned to follow the beloved who hovers, conjured, just at the edges of these pages. Otherlight’s iconoclasm is arresting and terrifying; it rejects the advances of a world that refuses to understand that sometimes the past is a mine we never want to be hauled from. In these lyrical, annihilating poems, Mceldowney shows us how a life can be utterly derailed by a death; how even after a lightning-struck past, choosing to stay alive can be the biggest risk of all.

    Claire Wahmanholm, author of Meltwater and Wilder

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