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Jan Epton Seale

Nature Nurture Neither: A Family's Journey in Creativity. Angelina River Press, 2014, 185 pages, $16.95.
Available from Abe Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, or from the bookseller of your choice.

Is it genes, or environment, or something else that causes a child to select one of the arts as a life's work? What are the odds that the offspring of a musician and a poet will be artists? One family's creative passage shines a light on the deliberate and incidental ways in which all five came to be involved in music, literature, and visual art. This family autobiography is unscientific, anecdotal, and entertaining—in the best tradition of memoirs.

Jan Seale

Jan Seale: The Parkinson Poems. Lamar University Press, 2013, 82 pages, $14.95
Available from powells.com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, or from the bookseller of your choice.

Parkinson's disease and poetry square off in this volume written from the perspectives of a caregiver and her husband. With grit, humor, and compassion, Jan Seale spells out the vicissitudes of dealing with this so-far incurable neurological condition affecting seven million people worldwide. From onset through progression and treatment to final simple toleration, the poems testify to the mysteries and vagaries of the disease. Seeing faces in everything, lacking the ability to smile, stalling in doorways, obsessing on creativity-these and other peculiar symptoms of the brain syndrome are explored in accessible poetry from the desk of a Texas poet laureate.

Jan Epton Seale

Jan Seale: New and Selected Poems. Texas Christian University Press, 2013, 96 pages, $15.95.
http://www.tamupress.com/product/Jan-Seale,7222.aspx

For years Jan Seale's carefully crafted poetry has captivated audiences with its wit, sharp diction, and seamlessness. This eighth volume of the Texas Poets Laureate series discovers the eternal in the transient—coupling the mythological with the present, the spiritual with the sensual, the joyful with the sorrowful. This riveting collection of work, both new and old, celebrates her broad achievements as a poet. Designated the 2012 Texas Poet Laureate, Seale reveres poetry as "the most elegant and most historic of our verbal arts."

Seale's lifelong love of poetry (she began writing at the age of six) is apparent in this volume.  Her work has been described as whittled and sharp, witty and serious. Her precise diction and visual imagery probe themes that range from spiritual faith to women, family, aging, and nature itself. This collection of work is a testament to Seale's skill, craft, and dedication to the art of poetry.

book

Appearances. 21 stories. Lamar University Press, 2012, 159 pages. Available from Abe Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, or from the bookseller of your choice.

Jan Seale's capable evocation of peculiar personalities mixes with her sense of nostalgia and richly drawn places to create an ambiance of the extraordinary in the most commonplace of circumstances. Her characters are a delightful collection of people bewildered by life and haunted by memory but who also find themselves relying on the confidence of experience and the solidity of conviction to press on, no matter what. This is a delightful collection of insightful vignettes that remind us how human and vulnerable we all are, how wrong we often can be, and how, in the long run, it's the integrity of our intentions that makes all the difference.

—Clay Reynolds, author of Hero of a Hundred Fights

nape Nape. 45 poems on the nature of Spirit. Ink Brush Press, 2011. 96 pages. Available from Abe Books, powells.com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, or from the bookseller of your choice.

As the "nape" connects the head to the body, Seale's flawlessly crafted poems connect spiritual contemplation to the senses in a seamless, quiet ecstasy.

—Larry D. Thomas, author of A Murder of Crows and 2008 Texas Poet Laureate

The Wonder Is: New and Selected Poems 1974-2012. Second edition. Ink Brush Press, 2012. Available from powells.com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com or from the bookseller of your choice.

Thirty plus years' worth of poems deserves a hurrah. Some—notably 'Diana the Huntress Goes for her Mammogram' and 'I Cut Open a Papaya / My Husband Reads His UFO Journal' –are especially delightful in their transgression of our daily norms.

—Maxine Kumin, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; author of Where I Live: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010

Please note: This new edition contains an introduction by the author and twelve new poems.

Valley Ark: Life Along the Rio. 50 poems with 50 color photos of the flora and fauna of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Jan Seale, poet and Ansen Seale, photographer. The Knowing Press, 2005. 108 pages. Available from The Knowing Press, 400 Sycamore, McAllen, TX 78501. $16.95 + $3 s&h + $1.40 Tx. sales tax if applicable.

Her sharp, whittled poems, plus the photos that look as elegant as oil paintings, complement each other superbly.

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-Jim McKone
The McAllen Monitor

The Yin of It. Poems on stages in a woman’s life. Pecan Grove Press, 2000. 40 pages. Available on Amazon.com.

The poems can be gentle, funny, in your face, zany, sensuous, ripe and touching.

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-Judy Bowen
The Mesquite Review

Homeland: Essays Beside and Beyond the Rio Grande. New Santander Press, 1995. 146 pages.
Out of print. Used copies available from Amazon.com

Homeland is a charmer whose message will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

--Judyth Rigler
San Antonio Express-News

The Nuts-&-Bolts Guide to Writing Your Life Story. Comprehensive guide to writing and printing your memoirs, The Knowing Press, 1998. 335 pages. Available from The Knowing Press, 400 Sycamore, McAllen, TX 78501. $21.95 + $4 s&h + $1.81 Tx. sales tax if applicable.

Nuts and Bolts is an indispensable tool for getting your story written.

--Eileen Mattei
Valley Morning Star

Airlift: Short Stories. T.C.U. Press, 1992. 174 pages. Out of print. Used copies available on Amazon.com .

These individualistic voices do much to give each story its own flavor, develop setting and mood, and make the characters as familiar as the reader’s next door neighbor.

--Gabriel Stauf
Texas Books in Review

schuster A Family for Schuster. Story by Jan Seale, Illustrations by Bernice Coleman. 32-page read-aloud picture book with 16 watercolor illustrations. Available from The Knowing Press, 400 Sycamore, McAllen, TX 78501. $12.95 + $2 s&h + $1.07 Texas sales tax if applicable.
Other Books of Interest
Cooking with the Texas Poets Laureate. Eleven Texas Poets Laureate offer their recipes, poems, and essays in this collector's item. Edited by Elizabeth Ethridge.Texas Review Press, 2014. 151 pages. Illustrated in full color. Available at Amazon.com.
Audie and Company. A family’s struggles and pleasures of 36 years with their heart-challenged son. The Garzonie Family, as told to Jan Epton Seale. 2005. 96 pages. $10.95+ $2.50 s&h + $.90 Tx sales tax if applicable.
Order from The Knowing Press, 400 Sycamore, McAllen, TX 78501.
wilderness

What Wildness Is This: Women Write About the Southwest. Edited by Jan Epton Seale, Susan Wittig Albert, Susan Hanson, Paula Stallings Yost. University of Texas Press, 2007, 316 pages. Available from U. of T. Press and Amazon.com.

Winner of the 2008 WILLA Award for Creative Nonfiction

quartet Texas Poets in Concert: A Quartet. Jan Epton Seale, R.S. Gwynn, Naomi Shihab Nye, William Virgil Davis. University of North Texas Press, l990, 128 pages. Available from Amazon. com.
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