I Want to Tell You

Ecstatic, bounding, electric, I Want to Tell You plumbs the elegy while still sizzling with life—a contradiction made right in Jesse Lee Kercheval’s deft hands. Wading through the pools of grief, Kercheval wrestles with God to find meaning in the wake of loss, but not without her characteristic wit, wisdom, and candor. In the tradition of our earliest poets, carving their poems into the clay with a reed, Kercheval’s work declares, ‘My name is Jesse. I write this to remember.’
Jacques J. Rancourt, author of Broken Spectre

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In Jesse Lee Kercheval’s sixth collection, I Want to Tell You, her searching, incantatory poems speak directly and forcefully to the reader in a voice that is by turns angry, elegiac, wry, or witty but always sharply alive. Crossing through the bewildering territory of grief, Kercheval argues with god and the universe about the deaths of people she loves. She also writes movingly about the complications of family life and love, the messy puzzle of life itself.


when the gaudy sun routs
the curtains

& velvet
drawn back from window after window
to let the morning in

& night has yet to be imagined

80 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

January, 2023

isbn : 9780822967071

about the author

Jesse Lee Kercheval

Jesse Lee Kercheval is a poet, writer, and translator, specializing in Uruguayan poetry. She is the author of America that island off the coast of France and Dog Angel and the translator of Love Poems by Idea Vilariño and The Invisible Bridge: Selected Poems of Circe Maia. A bilingual Spanish-English edition of her selected poems, La crisis es el cuerpo, translated by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg, was published in Argentina and is forthcoming in Mexico. She is also the author of the Alex Award–winning memoir Space and the short story collection Underground Women.

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Jesse Lee Kercheval