The collection is titled Visitations because these poems explore both the experience of visiting other places, as well as the experience of being visited by "the other." Throughout my career as a college writing instructor in Hungary, Lithuania and Turkey, and finally at home in Colorado, I have had opportunity to reflect on the unique position that travelers and wayfarers occupy, and the insights which can accompany travel. Additionally, my Christian faith lends me a vocabulary with which to explore the sense of being visited in those places by what Christians call the Holy Spirit, but which other traditions also recognize as the fluttering wings of inspiration. Together, the impulses to visit and to be visited form the backdrop for the poems in the collection.
"These poems invite us into quiet places of reflection, imagination, contemplation. Their subjects--Mary, Joan of Arc, Lithuanian women in winter, birds whose lives and deaths provide us with winged parables--remind the reader how earth and heaven intersect again and again in ordinary places, where a willing writer pauses to pray and see and make an offering of words."
-- Marilyn Chandler McEntyre author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies, and most recently Patient Poets: Illness from Inside Out.
In Fueston's poem "Jeanne D'Arc," the heroine says, "Do not ask me why God/seems always to whisper His wisdom/to women too young to keep secrets." Indeed, this young poet's debut collection spills all secrets beautiful, holy, and strange: Christ-haunted soil, ecstatic saints, birds weaving light and fluttering to their deaths. The poems are well-traveled, both in body and spirit, as gleaming as the faces she describes in a rainy, Istanbul cafe, ". . .cut and polished/as chandelier prisms,/shaped for the catching of light." Read these poems and catch their radiance. Treasure them for the gems that they are.
--Tania Runyan, author of Second Sky, A Thousand Vessels, and How to Read a Poem
Jennifer Stewart Fueston is no tourist—she’s a seasoned citizen of the world, a traveler aware. In her short book Visitations, she traverses—as only a pilgrim can—the evolutions of her own terrains and horizons. Of course, in doing so, she traces our own: by an ordered naming of the world’s beauties and griefs; by undertaking a vocation to see humanity as it is, not simply as she would like it to be; by a generous liturgy of exact description and vivid language. These poems contain touches of marvel and sweetness—flourishes both extravagant and honest—that allow us to awaken and rise to our own potential where “…such prayers at first are called to life / by fire and breath, by holy, wing-bound things.” Visitations is a strong debut that signals a wide and rich journey ahead.
--Dave Harrity, author of Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand