ISBN: 978-1954245822 / $17.95
Four Way Books / Forthcoming March 15, 2024
Pre-order links coming soon

Deeply personal and yet universal in its truths, unalone draws on the Book of Genesis as a living document whose stories, wisdom, and ethical knots can engage us more fully with our own lives—whatever your religious tradition or spiritual beliefs.

Advance Praise

“Like our matriarch Serah, the Torah’s first poet, Jessica Jacobs opens the Book of Genesis to her readers like a gate ‘with an easy latch and well-oiled hinges.’ She takes the time to notice, allowing readers to hear ‘a sound they know so well’ as though they’ve never heard it. Jacobs is this generation’s immaculate poet of the tents, taking us back to ourselves, fully. She amplifies  ‘the still small voice you’ve known all your life,’ so through her deep wisdom you remember you are unalone.”—Rabbi Burton Visotzky, author of Reading the Book: Making the Bible a Timeless Text

“Jessica Jacobs’s unalone seeks and reframes the light of Genesis, poem by poem. Out of strangeness and curiosity, her poems continue pushing into the unknown of Genesis. Her poems are the inner life of what Genesis means, in all its vials, structures, voices, and signs. Sensitively aware of Genesis as a living document, the poems use the etymology of its words to show moments where its meanings in our lives are perceptible and barely perceptible. The poems are spoken in a textured, female voice and also show how women in Genesis are not tourists, but integral to its untranslatable song. It’s a fascinating, crafted, and authoritative book.”
Sean Singer, Today in the Taxi, National Jewish Book Award Winner 

“Jessica Jacobs plays the Bible like a klezmer. She’s serious. She’s whimsical. She’s sorrowful. She’s kind. She’s measured. She midrashes Genesis to bend the Bible until the verses speak to a queer Jewish poet. Her ambition? ‘To zip myself into Judaism.’ Making space where there had been none. ‘No husband, no children, her songs/were her progeny,’ she writes. Lucid, deft, circumspect, generous, sagacious, she gets down on her poetic knees and plants a green new tree of knowledge. Jacobs seeds, stakes, pollinates, flourishes, blooms.”
Reverend Spencer Reece, author of The Clerk’s Tale & The Road to Emmaus

“Lost Edens and losing a parent, love and marriage, climate change, what it means for a human being to be ‘a conduit for the divine’– these are only a few of the subjects unalone addresses seriously and sensuously, reaching deep into Jewish tradition and personal experience, and, stretching expansively, exuberantly, beyond them. Along the way, unalone offers a master class in modern midrash, a series of dazzling demonstrations of how ruminating on and reimagining ancient Biblical stories can offer new ways of wrestling with the most contemporary of problems: dementia, mass shootings, pandemic, marginalization, the long shadows cast by slavery and genocide, the stochastic and institutionalized terrorisms fostered by what their perpetrators call faith. No matter her subject, throughout Jacobs’ flowing, varied verse, soul-opening epigrams suddenly appear  –  ‘a zodiac of branch-bound constellations,’ ‘sprinklers stuttered covenants of rainbows,’ ‘you must leave the place that grew you to grow toward better stars’ – as unalone summons us to realize that ‘Perfectly imperfect, each of us / is a new way of saying.’”
—Joy Ladin, author of The Book of Anna, National Jewish Book Award Winner