Professor Trish Jaggers publishes new poetry collection
- Dillon Miller
- Friday, November 8th, 2019
On October 28, 2019, Assistant Professor Trish Jaggers published a collection of poems entitled De-Composition: Rigor Mortis via Local Gems Poetry Press.
The collection originally started out as a project for the 2019 Local Gems Poetry Press National Poetry Writing Month challenge, “Write Thirty Poems in Thirty Days.” Professor Jaggers remarked how the challenge proved difficult for her.
“Typically, I write a poem and, like Elizabeth Bishop, toy with it--change/delete/add a word here and there, fiddle with line breaks, take out/put in/take back out punctuation ... you know. Edit. A lot. For a month. Or two,” said Jaggers. “The contest timeline gave us a bit more than a week after April 30th to have the entire collection in--murder for me!”
The theme of the work revolves around rigor mortis, the third of four stages of bodily decomposition after death in which the muscles and joints of the body stiffen. Professor Jaggers mentioned that she plans on creating a series of poetry collections, each corresponding to one of the four stages of decomposition. She gained the inspiration for this morbid theme by observing the world around her during springtime.
“While spring is supposed to give us hope, I found my hope ‘frozen’ on the edge of some news story, the state of our world. I pinged from hope to despair and back. I'm reminded that decay fertilizes the soil for new growth,” said Jaggers. “I give up things, die a bit, spring back, and work toward the end of my own life (and some poems poke fun at this). Deconstructing my little world through composition--rather ‘De-Composition.’”
Jaggers says she hopes readers of her collection will find a bit of themselves in the poetry, and she hopes they will appreciate the back and forth nature of her poems.
“I strive for a balance of burn and banter. I make fun of myself sometimes, and I hope they laugh. I share my shock at the world's behavior and hope they, too, feel the tug of dolor.”
For those who are pursuing their own publication, Professor Jaggers closes with the advice to write, to share your work, and to submit your work. She notes that sharing your work allows you to “take the edges” off feelings of insecurity and doubt, and it also provides you with excellent advice on how to improve your work. For those who are afraid to submit their work, she offers this closing remark:
“The worst thing that can happen is not that you'll be rejected but that they stay in your journal. If you're rejected, you'll join the rest of the world's writers in that amazing and brave feat—the act of submission. Nothing happens to those who procrastinate. Literally nothing.”