Thoughts about Phylum from Jeanine Stevens:
"A few years ago a friend commented that he liked the way I handled animals in my poetry. I didn’t realize how much of my poetry is infused with the animal spirit. This collection brings together some of my experiences with animals: from leech, tick and trilobite, to sheep, deer and mammoth. I appreciate animals in their own environment, and accept them on their own terms. I write about present day species and the archaic no longer with us. I wonder about our break from the animal mind set, and the grieving for our own lost instincts."
"In Phylum, Jeanine Stevens gives us snapshots of a child growing up in balance/ imbalance with nature, to envision possibilities beyond freeways gouged out of the valley. This book asks us to take account of what we do to each other and the planet we share—its Tule elk, watersheds, game trails, meadows of bluebirds. It speaks for the animals who have no say in what we do to them and their world, like the dyed-green Easter chick who died in the cellar, leaving space “for poetry to begin.” Phylum asks us to pay attention."
--Taylor Graham, author of What the Wind Says
"Poets speak with a voice that connects our past with our future. Jeanine Stevens’ newest work Phylum has the gentle hand of experience and the uncompromising eye of the artist. Is there any part of our world that is not festooned with the former world? As in “Salvage Archeology,” even now, a femur, big as a woman, protrudes from the new county building. It’s hard to ignore the mammoth down there, balancing on her giant white toes.” Each poem is a vision, both personal and poignant."
--Joseph Finkleman, co-author of Visions and Views, with Susan Finkleman