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Jessica Jacobs and Phil Metres’ “G-d Talk”

Olivia Buckel
Olivia Buckel describes the joint poetry reading entitled “G-d Talk” that occurred in Rodman Hall.

On the evening of April 3, authors Jessica Jacobs and Dr. Phil Metres hosted a joint poetry reading of their new releases. Jacobs read from her new release “Unalone,” and Metres from his “Fugitive/Refuge.”

These two authors came together through a happy accident. On the day Metres unveiled the cover for his collection, he received a direct message from Jacobs. This direct message stated that her new poetry collection had the same exact cover and was going to be released right around the same time. They decided to keep their covers the same and come together to help each other promote their work, which led to this poetry reading.

Jacobs’ collection focuses on her studies of the Torah, which she returned to in her thirties after a difficult time. Her poetry is in conversation with this text, especially the story of Genesis, and through writing this poetry, she saw the relevance of the Torah today. To her, it is impossible to read the stories from this sacred text and not see echoes of it in our modern day. The poetry she read covered all kinds of themes including prayer, love, compassion, brutality, mistranslations, the climate crisis and how all of these can be seen both in modern day society and in the Torah.

Metres’ collection deals more with the experience of human migration, both literally and figuratively, as well as the struggle that refugees face. He discusses the internal human need to feel at home, as well as generational grief, and the grief that can be seen across the world at what is going on in Palestine.

By the happy accident that the cover of these two collections was the same, the two books were put in conversation with one another, allowing for their uniqueness of both to shine through, as well as showcase what themes overlap. This created a more universal experience for the audience, allowing each person in the room to feel seen, heard and understood. Everyone got something out of this reading.

Upon reflection of her experience, Jacobs herself is grateful for an outlet to have a deep, worthwhile conversation with a person who she would not have gotten the chance to otherwise.

“In a time when so many people are screaming at and past each other, or simply not speaking to those they deem ‘other,’ such interfaith conversations grounded in curiosity and mutual esteem feel more vital than ever,” Jacobs said.

 Jacobs said it best – in a time when so many people feel on opposite sides of issues, it is refreshing to see two different ideas work as one, allowing for a universally pleasant experience and all-around wonderful evening.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Buckel
Olivia Buckel, Media Beat Reporter
Olivia Buckel is a Media Beat Reporter for The Carroll News. She is from Erie, Pennsylvania, and is currently a freshman at JCU. She is majoring in English with a Creative Writing concentration as well as a Gender, Sexuality and Women’s studies minor. She is also in the Honors Program In addition to writing for The Carroll News, Olivia is also a part of the Honors Service Board, as well as the JCU Allies Club and the Women and Allies Coalition. She is also a Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Ambassador and a prose editor for The Carroll Review. During her free time, Olivia enjoys reading fantasy books, writing fantasy stories, and watching fantasy TV. In the future, Olivia hopes to be an editor for a publishing house or magazine.  

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