In the Almond Orchard: Coming Home from War

by admin on May 4, 2016


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

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