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January Gill O’Neil Reflects on Life through Poetry

In Glitter Road, the brilliant and beautiful collection of poems by January Gill O’Neil, we are taken from truth to tenderness, old love to new love, the Northeast to the deep South, and everywhere in between. The engaging lyric forms move seamlessly from Tina Turner to the legacy of Emmett Till to cartwheels, to a Hallmark card that hasn’t been invented yet, and into John Grisham’s bed. O’Neil writes, “I’ll take my miracles however they appear / these days”—and how can we not praise the wounded world with her? Whether writing about Blackness, body, family, nature or nurture, love or loss, these poems always keep a sense of hope and humor. Glitter Road sparkles and dazzles me, then wrings out my heart in the very best way. And as O’Neil writes, “If at 4 a.m. you find yourself awake and alone, / curled up in your half-empty bed under a flashlight’s white light reading a poem…regret nothing.” I will tell you: you won’t. These are the poems you need on your nightstand because this is the book you won’t be able to put down. Rich with history and herstory, these stunning and striking poems are intimate, honest, and always engaging. I cannot recommend this collection enough; Glitter Road is O’Neil’s most powerful book yet.

—Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Dialogues with Rising Tide