Fuchsia in Cambodia: Poems

Suffused with tenderness and humor, the poems in this new collection take readers on a journey through emotions, across national boundaries, and even along the geographic timeline. The quick mind of author Jacobstein creates fluid verse that can take on the singular geography of his native Michigan or the story of an immigrant cab driver with ease. His elegant rhyme and clever rhythm are suited equally to an ode to the stegosaurus and to his many poems for his adopted daughter. He moves readers from Washington, D.C., to Delhi, from adolescence to fatherhood, and between heaven and earth. With its immersive voice and sensitive examinations, this set of verses retains its sense of wonder at all the beautiful hellos and good-byes that humans come to know well in their too-short lifetimes.

"Capacious in its imagination, flexible in its range of social reference, wise, funny, and profoundly engaged in the complex ethics of private conscience and global citizenship, Fuchsia in Cambodia continues the astonishing trajectory of Roy Jacobstein's earlier work. Who else among us can write with equal authority about assembly lines in Detroit, bullock carts and prayer wheels in Tibet, urban topography in Washington DC, the blessing ceremony for a newly adopted daughter in Cambodia, the stricken tediums of adolescence, the tender anxieties of fatherhood, the shame and burlesque and serendipity of contemporary political life, the resilience of human affection? New in the present volume is a richly augmented technical range: moving from an expansive colloquial line to stern monometer, from thumbnail narrative to kaleidoscopic revery to movie pitch, these poems are a source of joy."—Linda Gregerson