« Back to Alumni Spotlights
Ösel Jessica Plante
Ösel Jessica Plante is the author of the poetry collection Waveland. fiction and poetry have appeared in Best New Poets 2017 & 2019, Best Small Fictions 2016, Narrative Magazine, and Passages North, among others. She is winner of the 2018 Meridian Editors Prize in poetry, Honorable Mention in the 2018 Gulf Coast Prize, and Finalist in the 2019 Nimrod International Literary Awards. She is a former fellow of the Vermont Studio Center. She holds an MA in English from the University of North Texas, an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a PhD in poetry from Florida State University. She writes and works at University of Portland in Portland, Oregon.
In her debut collection of poems, Waveland, Ösel Jessica Plante reminds us of how the world insists on making us targets of its desire: it woos us with its beauty and then departs, leaving us no choice but to keep loving it with language. Here, every poem is profound in its linguistic imagination, every poem a flash of lightning illuminating the shadow of what we are missing: a marriage, a daughter, a lost fire. What we truly find after reading these poems is the joy of aching for what we think our lives should have been: “Let my mouth / move against your emptiness until you utter back to me /the sounds I most want to hear.” Read these poems, for they’ll fill you with music you’ll want to hear over and over again.