The Poetry Question

#TPQ5: JORY MICKELSON

Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton

Sarton’s journal shows me the inner life of a writer, and my own life, more clearly and honestly than I have seen before.

In Youth is Pleasure by Denton Welch

I told a friend I could never write a memoir because nothing ever happens in my life and they said, “Well then, you should read In Youth is Pleasure because the whole book is about a 14 year old’s summer where nothing happens at all.” I couldn’t put it down; the detail and writing were exquisite, and I never use that word.

Crush by Richard Siken

I come back to this book again and again and pass on copies when I can. It is a powerhouse of a book that teaches me something new about writing every time I pick it up.

Letters to Wendy’s by Joe Wenderoth

I tend to enjoy depressing, sad books a little too much and there is none of that in Wenderoth’s book. I love his endlessly surprising imagination and humor within the constraint of a customer comment form.

Joanna Klink

Anytime I need to immerse myself in truly immersive, lyrical poems, I go to Klink’s work. She has somehow found the perfect balance between exactness and intuition.


Jory Mickelson’s first book, WILDERNESS//KINGDOM, was the inaugural winner of the Evergreen Award Tour from Floating Bridge Press and winner of the 2020 High Plains Book Award in Poetry. Their publications include Court Green, Painted Bride Quarterly, Jubilat, Sixth Finch, and The Rumpus. They are the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and were awarded fellowships from the Lambda Literary Foundation and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico.