Paperback Price: $15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-938584-26-8

Selected Poem

Of a Piece

Our ears are turned to scraping
desks in rows. Chalk on a chalkboard,

a bell at noon. So our eyes
rise, follow the chalk, what's left behind.

A piece of chalk, dust like pixels,
pressing silk to slate. Each seat facing

the erasing. Looking for what's left, the rest.
Wanting to know what'll be on the test.


“…knowing what you don’t know can turn out to be more than enough. Jill McDonough’s new book […] broods over the technology of war — in particular the development of robots, drones and other methods of outsourcing human intelligence and morality to code and circuits.” –David Orr, The New York Times Book Review

“McDonough examines the distancing of culpability and repercussions that follow when there’s a computer screen and a continent between a soldier and the dead. . . . Her writing is gritty and unapologetic, refusing to let even the reader off the hook.”
Literary Hub

Reaper knocked me flat with its utter breathlessness, its grim and terrifying lyricism, and its relentless re-angling of the magical haven we like to call the future. In deftly crafted stanzas that shove urgently at our perceptions, McDonough paints a stark picture of a soulless tomorrow ruled by the technologies of convenience—a tomorrow we just might stop if we could.”
—Patricia Smith

“Words that come to mind to describe Jill McDonough’s agile, alert poems are: humanity, sociability, clear-eyed, oxygen-filled, and humor. Also: morally serious and deeply thoughtful. Reaper’s such a readable book—in tone, so intimate and cheerful—that one almost doesn’t notice that it’s full of poems about technology, death, and war. Also love, also hope: ‘…we have all the time anybody else/in the world gets. All the time we need to say/the right thing, find new right things to say.’”
—Daisy Fried