“Jackson Burgess is a phenomenal young poet, and whether he’s writing against the backdrops of Los Angeles (and its dark underworld) or the bohemian gloss of Paris, he is the most urgent and raw urban Transcendentalist in recent American poetry. The cinematic visual intelligence and the visceral rhythmic power of these poems is dazzling—Pocket Full of Glass is nothing less than a brilliant debut.”
—David St. John
“Jackson Burgess’s poems are astonishing—the way they keep going further when you think there is no further to go, taking language itself out past the borders of what can be said, what can be thought or felt or borne, toward a kind of beauty that owes nothing to convention or order or the laws of beauty, but belongs wholly to the poet’s own unflinching vision of the mutilated world. “Try to praise the mutilated world,” Adam Zagajewski has written, and Jackson Burgess has taken up that challenge, and then some. In Pocket Full of Glass, he gives us poems full of risk and passion, full of despair for the wreckage of the bruised and shattered landscapes through which he moves—urban Los Angeles, night-time Paris, those rooms in which we cannot die, in which the loneliness of lovers is matched only by the longing, still, for love. And somewhere in all the wreckage, something keeps shining like a shard of glass, a jagged piece of light.”
Jackson Burgess lives in Iowa City. His poetry and fiction are featured or forthcoming in Rattle, The Cincinnati Review, The Los Angeles Review, Joyland, Word Riot, The Monarch Review, and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the University of Southern California and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.