Now available from River Glass Books: “Latch”

I’m so excited to be able to share my new chapbook, “Latch,” just released by River Glass Books. This book has been two years in the making, and I’m so pleased with how it has turned out! To order your copy, check out River Glass Books site, OR if you’d like a signed copy, you can contact me directly via email or any of my social media links.

From the heavy shadows that infertility invokes, to the fierce, fearful latch of child to mother to world, Jennifer Stewart Fueston’s collection attends with fresh, lyric precision to the bodies and minds of mothers across time. These nuanced poems search motherhood’s sacred spaces—exploring what historic paintings of Mother Mary don’t show, what might be filling a nest that lies empty, and what it means to rock an infant at home on a day of public protest. Their charge towards empathy and justice is as keen as their craft. “Night is a mouth,” Fueston writes in one poem, and, in another, “milk can be a verb.” Latch delivers a mother’s powerful vision, the mouth and milk of it, with music, nerve, and grace.
— Sally Rosen Kindred, author of "Says the Forest to the Girl"
“I love this chapbook so sincerely that my usual ease with talking about poetry leaves me when I try to describe the vivid, expansive nature of these poems. To borrow from the speaker in ‘Clipping,’ ‘My own words have / forsaken me. I nest / in others for awhile…’ In just twenty-four poems, Jen Stewart Fueston has somehow managed to sing of the uncertainty and the persistence, the history and the immediacy, the political and the intimate aspects of mothering. An early poem invites us to laugh with the Virgin Mary in a mall while a later poem invites us to mourn with Mother Mary over a man killed in 2015 as if he is her only son. When the speaker in these poems shares some of the most private moments of praying to conceive and nursing in the night, the language is surprising, taking us far from stereotypes of motherhood and into something true. I know that I will return to nest in the words of these poems for years to come.”
— Katie Manning, author of "Tasty Other," and "The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman"

America Cover.jpeg

Honored to have a poem in this new anthology, available Sept. 4!

This anthology, born in response to the 2016 Presidential election, combines the voices of poets from across America—from red states and blue states, high schools and nursing homes, big cities and small towns—with the voices of poets from other countries and other times. From Virgil and Dante to Claudia Rankine and Mai Der Vang, from Milton to Merwin, from Po-Chü-i to Robin Coste Lewis, these voices—now raucous, now muted, now lyric, now plain—join together here in dissent and in praise, in grief and alarm, in vision and hope. The 126 poems in this book call out to America in resistance to threats to our democracy and in the resilient belief that this fragile, imperfect form of government can and must be preserved. “These poets have an urgent message to share with you,” writes Camille T. Dungy in the foreword. “This message is brand new, and it is also eternal. Read carefully. What you learn here might just save your life.”

Click to order via Amazon


Moms, Marchers and Managers: One Poem's Journey

When a friend tells me a poem I wrote was an inspiration to them in some way, it's a feeling as good or better than publication.

And when a friend tells you that not only did your poem inspire them, but they actually hauled off and wrote something of their own because of what you wrote? Well, that's the cherry on every imaginable literary sundae! My friend Matthew Kaemingk is a theologian who had some ideas sparked by my poem, "To the Women Marching, From a Mother at Home," which I shared widely online the day of the Women's March 2017 (and which will be in print this coming fall in an anthology from Sixteen Rivers Press).

Dr. Kaemingk's article for Fuller Studio, "Moms, Marchers and Managers: Priests all three," develops and enriches many of the ideas underlying my poem. It is a tremendous joy to see the creative work I do making a meaningful impact on theological thought as well. I hope you'll check out his piece!

And now for something entirely different...


I recently had the opportunity to share my thoughts about two of the TV shows that most captured my imagination this past year. After the season opener of The X Files (of which I am a devoted longtime fan), I pitched an article to The Mary Sue, looking at the way The X Files deploys a common sci fi / dystopian trope in comparison to the way The Handmaid's Tale (a show I was riveted by last spring) does. You can check my piece out here:

 The X Files and The Handmaid's Tale: How We Talk When We Talk About Rape

One Year Later

It has been almost a year since I shared this story, and in the meantime, the poem has been shared and quoted in many places. I look forward to seeing it in print with Sixteen Rivers Press this coming fall.

"On the day of the international Women’s March, I wrote a poem. I shared it with a number of Facebook groups I’m a part of, as well as on Twitter and a number of other venues. I don’t usually shared unpublished work of mine so widely, but it was such a timely thing, I wanted to get it out and share it. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt the urgency of a poem at that level before.

The poem was liked and shared hundreds of times, and eventually an excerpt appeared in an article by Cindy Brandt in Sojourners magazine, “Dear Donald Trump: Now We’re All Activists” "