Jack, Love, and the Daily Grail by Joan M. Howard
"Joan Howard's poems, crafted like finely cut jewels, reflect a joyful and sustaining force in the natural world, even as the poet confronts a major loss. Whether she is kayaking on the lake ('I glided into diamonds') or noting a solitary clematis blooming on her late husband's birthday, she presents a remarkable tapestry of all of our lives, in which, as William Blake wrote, 'Joy and woe are woven fine.'"
—Janice Townley Moore, author of Teaching the Robins
"Joan Howard's collection is pure music: love songs, laments, hymns. She has an incredible ear for sound, including rhyme and meter. This, coupled with an eye and heart for discovering the sublime in nature, gives her poems a classical feel—a formality that ups the poignancy while keeping sentimentality at bay. These are short poems, packed with grief and wonder: '"Let me go," you said, and divine/ownership took you in a breath.' Howard has written a profound tribute to her beloved. It is their story and her story: the hard and beautiful necessity of moving on while never forgetting."
—Karen Paul Holmes, author of Untying the Knot
"Poetry written in beauty leaves the reader with nourishing aftereffects. Happily, Howard's sonnets, such as 'Time Travel,' 'The Secret,' and 'Grace' shimmer with superb craft, evidence of a clear and powerful intelligence. Like those of Gerard Manley Hopkins, her use of word links: 'lake wed, these now years, and life hearts on' create new meanings and illuminations."
—Maren O. Mitchell, author of Beat Chronic Pain: An Insider's Guide
This is a modern day hero's attainment of the grail and his widow's seventeen-year poetic journey. It is a love story.
Joan Howard's poetry has been published in the Aurorean, Poem, Victorian Violet, The Deronda Review, Lucid Rhythms, The Road Not Taken: The Journal of Formal Poetry, The Wayfarer, and other journals. She has also published a chapbook: Death and Empathy: My Sister Web, available on Amazon. Howard was a former teacher and enjoys walking, kayaking, and birding around beautiful Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia.