In the Almond Orchard: Coming Home from War resulted from a commission granted by YoloArts, and made possible by a Veterans Initiative in the Arts (VIA) Grant from the California Arts Council to Implement Positive Reflections: From Combat to Community. Profits from the sales will fund the Charles Ternes Creativity Prize for Veteran Students at the University of California, Davis.


“The Almond Orchard formidably commemorates the lives of those who have sacrificed what most take for granted, to discover in the hardest of ways that out of ruin comes transformation. In this magnificent tour de force, Andy Jones’ insightful words rise up and fall forward, become the bodies of other words that propel us into the darkness or the light, much as human lives are transformed into shattered hulls or grow, in their vestige of remaining humanity and sanity, the hulls that populate the trees ravaged by drought, both physical and spiritual. These courageous poems, empathetic and beautiful, feel out, even as they open on suffering, what it means to sing elegies for the living. They explore what follows the shouted order to keep breathing when the body sets aside bewilderment long enough to die or to emerge as the strongest among all of our shattered and scattered souls. And by the pain and the grief, the memories and the prayers, the swelter and the despair, the brotherhood and the relentless indifference of the inattentive, we are reminded, ‘No one has rehearsed for this.’”
– William O’Daly, author of The Road to Isla Negra and translator of Pablo Neruda

“Using an impressive variety of approaches, Andy Jones explores one of the fundamental experiences and themes of literature — soldiers coming home from war – with compassion and inventiveness. An examination of the trauma and dislocating nature of war, this collection also serves as a testament to Jones’ belief in the sustaining and redemptive power of poetry.”
– Joseph Mills, author of Exit, pursued by a bear; Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers; and This Miraculous Turning

“Andy Jones writes these poems with the heart and soul of a warrior. He focuses on the spiritual and emotional energy of veterans, and he truly understands.”
– Rev. Bill McDonald, Vietnam Veteran, Award-Winning Poet, Author of Alchemy of A Warrior’s Heart, Veteran Advocate

“One is forever changed from war, and home is a conflicted place of heart and soul regardless of geography. Andy Jones’ new collection, In the Almond orchard: Coming Home From War; resonates with the confusion, grief, irreverence, guilt, pain and gratefulness of the soldier that has seen the elephant.”
– Lieutenant Colonel Victoria A. Hudson, United States Army, Retired

“As a Veteran who served in the military during the signing of the Korean truce, during the Cold War period, and later with Naval Intelligence during the Vietnam War, I found these poems deeply touching. Andy Jones puts into words what it means to be a warrior, and pays homage to the service and the sacrifices made on our behalf, sacrifices all too often forgotten or taken for granted. In the Almond Orchard comes through with three essential elements of poetry: conviction, honesty, and compassion. A commendable book written with heart and soul.”
– A.D. Winans, author of over fifty books, including San Francisco Poems


Where’s Jukie?

by admin on September 9, 2014

Purchase & Download WHERE’S JUKIE

Available Online and at The John Natsoulas Gallery and The Avid Reader, from Absurd Publications:

Where’s Jukie?

Poems & Essays by Andy Jones & Kate Duren

Praise for WHERE’S JUKIE —

Kafka called poetry the ice axe that smashes through the frozen lake of the heart. But what of the heart in a different state? In a roiling sea of grief and love, one needs a raft. If you have a child like Jukie in your life, do what I did: rest for a while on the wide planks of this remarkable, heartfelt book.
– Rebecca Foust, author of All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song, and God, Seed

Dancing from poem to essay and back again, Where’s Jukie tells the story of a remarkable American family. Kate Duren and Andy Jones find ways to celebrate amid the chaos of their life. Yes, we come to know Jukie through the stories they tell, but we come to know his parents as well; they reveal themselves through the love they share for this very special son.
– Bob Stanley, Poet Laureate Emeritus of Sacramento

The poems and essays in Where’s Jukie … are hard-won, gorgeous tributes to the gentle agonies and fierce ecstasies of raising a special needs son. … They remind us to be vigilant in our watch for the epiphanies in life’s unexpected turns and ever mindful of the ‘unwrinkled, uncreased, and unencumbered’ moments we so often take for granted.”
– Michelle Bitting

The poems [in Where’s Jukie] are gripping and filled with delicate layers of metaphor and symbolism. The essays are smart, captivating and compelling. The combination of both poetry and prose creates a collection that is resonant and remarkable.
– Connie Post, Poet Laureate Emerita of Livermore California


From the Desk of Dr. Andy: The Wobbly Camel

September 9, 2014

Friends and Readers, Welcome to the first entry of my new blog. Here I plan to reflect on five topics: 1) personal productivity, 2) platform-building via social media advocacy and marketing, 3) the joys and challenges of writing (e.g., poems, my next book project, this blog), 4) creativity, 5) outreach on behalf of my causes. […]

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