Essays & Poems
JANE MARSHALL FLEMING
This debut full-length hybrid collection of essays and poetry explores the moments of joy and chaotic hilarity that mingle with the experiences of trauma and trauma recovery.
Jane Marshall Fleming writes with boldness and shows the beauty in every moment amidst violent chaos, embracing joy just as much as darkness. Moving from a backdrop of a small Virginia town and eventually finding herself in the freedom and wilderness of the desert, readers will follow the author on her journey mapping her skin, sharing in her joys, grief, pain, loss, discovering love and self-growth, night-blooming like a desert flower.
154 pages, perfect bound
Cover art by Jordan Aman
"Jane Marshall Fleming's Violence/Joy/Chaos names the three satellites orbiting the body of love in this hybrid collection mapping their complicated intersections. There is not a page in this collection that lets you rest, and why should they? With each glimpse further into her life, Fleming asks us to decide if the celestial body of love at the center of this all is a star that gives us light, or a black hole threatening to swallow us whole. Because Violence/Joy/Chaos is so unafraid to show us every dirty corner of the room, it's hard to find the answer. And that's a good thing."
— Nishat Ahmed, author of Field Guide for End Days
"The snippets of Jane Marshall Fleming’s life in Violence/Joy/Chaos is woven together to create an honest, open space to discuss universal themes, such as motherhood, substance abuse, and toxic relationships. Despite its moments of darkness, Fleming shows readers the sliver of light with organic transitions between poetry and the prose of her essays. The collection is at its strongest basking in these moments of light, and her ‘house speaks / And it speaks because [she] built it.’ The title for this collection is more than fitting, as Fleming shows us that between the moments of violence and chaos, there is always joy. "
— Keana Aguila Labra, Editor-in-Chief of Marías at Sampaguitas
"Jane Marshall Fleming writes, 'Trauma writing is swiss cheese—curd-like bits of information, of feeling, of visions and vistas, surrounded by gaping holes.' And so, too, is Violence/Joy/Chaos—bits of pain, of loss and love, through poems and essays with the linguistic beauty of poetry. This book is a journey, and a series of recollections. You, the reader, sit down with the author and a beverage of choice to hear these stories, so clear is that voice. Violence/Joy/Chaos is not a light read, but its weight will ensure it stays with you. This is a breathtaking, genuine, powerful collection that should not be missed.
— Juliette Sebock, poet, writer, and editor
"Jane Marshall Fleming’s Violence/Joy/Chaos is an authentic account of pain exquisitely written from exposed bones offered to the reader for excavation. Her words seeped in pain and grief are poignant and raw- she presents her skeleton through her words and we feel the lasting imprint of her trauma and grief as though we ran barefoot through a junkyard of sharp edges and broken bottles."
— December Lace
"Jane Fleming’s sublime work is at once a brutal depiction of trauma, grief, and the journey for recovery, yet also a meditation on humanness and connection. Beautiful in its brutality and honesty, her exquisite language describes the inexplicable pain and confusion of trauma and grief, and the unspoken cruelty of these emotions. She has written this work in a way that will speak to both the lay and experienced reader, capturing the unending turmoil in a digestible collection of essays and poetry. Realistic, somber, raw, and hopeful, joyful at times, it is a collection not taken lightly in its chaotic rendering of feeling. 'Consume gently', Fleming pleads, and she is right, for her work is 'delicious, it is disgusting, and it is always, always violent.'"
— Allyson Freeland
'Shower Beers & Sex Jokes' - Barren Magazine
'Morning Sickness' - Entropy Magazine
'There's a Pinot I Can't Drink' - Foliate Oak Lit Mag
'Magnolia Leaves' - Nightingale & Sparrow
'Ocotillo Worship' - Barren Magazine
'No One Tells You How to Birth Spirits' - Glass Poetry
Jane Marshall Fleming is an author and artist living in Austin, Texas. She currently works as an Assistant Instructor in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of the chapbook, Ocotillo Worship (2019).
Photo credit: Bourdeau Photo