Shellback

SHELLBACK
poems

JEANNE-MARIE OSTERMAN

ISBN 978-1-7344965-3-6
Library of Congress Control Number: 2020935102
Pages: 82
Price: $16.00
Distributors: Ingram (wholesale), Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, or purchase directly from the publisher, editor@palomapress.net

Thank you so much to everyone who already bought a copy of Shellback! Please consider posting a review here and here.


Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s second poetry collection, Shellback.

“Courageous, insightful, and unsettling poems about war and family ties.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A not-untroubled tribute and a difficult elegy, Shellback traces the attachment of a daughter to her father from her childhood days of trying “to be his boy” to the grown-up’s task to be his caregiver in his last years. Including horrific details from the father’s WWII Navy service in the Pacific, which the poet memorializes in blunt, terse lines, alongside the harrowing specifics of his decline, Osterman limns a portrait of a complex relationship. Marked by candor and clear-sightedness, these poems resist soothing resolutions and easy solace, which is why they are sure to ring true to readers.”
—Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Letters from Limbo

Shellback is an elegy for a man who taught his youngest daughter how to “stretch a buck, drive a truck, / anchor a screw, win at gin rummy.” Jeanne-Marie Osterman toggles between nightmarish scenes her father witnessed during World War II and the smaller but no less affecting traumas of his final months in a nursing home. Her language is spare and colloquial, with moments of irony and deadpan wit that illuminate every detail. The arduous work of losing and grieving is beautifully preserved in these poems, which in their vividness function like a series of photographs. Or a time capsule. Or amber—something tough, primordial, and nearly clear. Osterman conveys, impeccably and with unflappable grace, the hard-earned knowledge that “no one is only / their sins.”
—Mark Bibbins, 13th Balloon

The beautifully sequenced poems in Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s Shellback yield a searing portrait of the poet’s father as a Depression-era boy and a Navy World War II veteran, given to emotional coldness and barely repressed anger. Their poignancy resides in the poet’s filial devotion, her wish to understand him and care for him in his old age. As Osterman writes in “Forgive:” “I let memories I can’t erase / rest in peace, / knowing no one is only their sins.” With often haunting imagery and carefully clipped lines, she memorably portrays a man, his era, and a daughter’s unstinting love.
—Gardner McFall, On the Line

ostermanJeanne-Marie Osterman is the author of There’s a Hum (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in Borderlands, Cathexis Northwest, 45th Parallel Magazine, The Madison Review, and elsewhere. A finalist for the 2018 Joy Harjo Poetry Award and 2017 Levis Prize in Poetry, she is poetry editor for Cagibi, a journal of prose and poetry.


Renowned Poet Visits NCCC

The Niagara County Community College, as part of its Poetry on the Edge Series, successfully hosted a reading featuring Jeanne-Marie Osterman on April 21 in the Dolce Valvo Art Gallery at the Sanborn Campus. Ms. Osterman read from her books Shellback (Kirkus Top 100 Indie Books of 2021) and All Animals Want the Same ThingContinue reading “Renowned Poet Visits NCCC”

Paloma books in libraries

You can check these out today! Library of CongressClose Apart by Robert Cowan (poetry)Shellback by Jeanne-Marie Osterman (poetry)*Seven Skirts by Jacki Rigoni (poetry)The Good Mother of Marseille by Christopher X. Shade (novel)Shield the Joyous by Christopher X. Shade (poetry)The Ruin of Everything by Lara Stapleton (short stories)Pagpag: The Dictator’s Aftermath in the Diaspora by EileenContinue reading “Paloma books in libraries”

Shellback is Kirkus’ #8!

Courageous, insightful, and unsettling poems about war and family ties. Kirkus Reviews Check out Kirkus’ Best Books of 2021, SHELLBACK is #8! Congratulations, Jeanne-Marie Osterman!

Pushcart & Best of the Net Nominees

Congratulations to this year’s Pushcart & Best of the Net nominees! Jeanne-Marie Osterman, Jacki Rigoni, Lara Stapleton (Paloma Press) Cole Eubanks, Eugene Gloria, Veronica Kornberg, Jenna Le, Esteban Rodriguez, James J. Siegel (MiGoZine, Pushcart) Tamiko Beyer, Karla Brundage, Clara Hsu, Hilary King, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Timothy Liu (MiGoZine, Best of the Net)

More accolades for Osterman’s Shellback!

After earning the coveted Kirkus star, Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s SHELLBACK is a Staff Pick at the New York Public Library! Congratulations, Jeanne-Marie! Fresh from the success of SHELLBACK, Osterman won the 2021 Slipstream Press Chapbook Competition and her most recent work appears in New Ohio Review.

Osterman reads Tabios!

More information about Eileen R. Tabios’ short story collection, Pagpag, here. More information about Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s poetry collection, Shellback, here.

10th Annual New York City Poetry Festival

Jeanne-Marie Osterman’s Shellback & Christopher X. Shade’s Shield the Joyous will be available at the 10th Annual New York City Poetry Festival, July 24 & 25, at Colonel’s Row, Governors Island, New York, New York. Check back for more info.

A KIRKUS STAR FOR SHELLBACK!

Not only is Jeanne-Marie Osterman‘s Shellback chosen by Kirkus‘ Indie Editors to be featured in Kirkus Reviews (June 15 issue), it also gets a Kirkus Star (only 2% of books reviewed get a star)! Huge congratulations, Jeanne-Marie! The Kirkus Star One of the most coveted designations in the book industry, the Kirkus Star marks booksContinue reading “A KIRKUS STAR FOR SHELLBACK!”

SHELLBACK, a Kirkus top indie press book!

Courageous, insightful, and unsettling poems about war and family ties. KIRKUS Kirkus reviews SHELLBACK by Jeanne-Marie Osterman, one of this year’s top indie press books! Read the full review here.

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