“The very title of Jane Beal’s latest collection, JAZZ BIRDING, has been hovering within my head, wings beating with its energy and insight and affirmation of the created world– what a pizzazz of words. “Jazz bird, the whole earth is listening!” an early poem declares, and the rest of the following ample collection of poems shows how the poet, too, listens. The seeing is precise, from the “barely-budded green leaves” just sticking out from the grey sky to a “fair fox chewing” in the tall grass. And the remembering and imagining are sharp–I think here of the poem about a friend’s father’s three hundred canaries, with their heart-expanding song, back in Cuba. What we have here, ultimately, from this medievalist-poet, is a Parliament of Fowls–cardinals, barn swallows, storm crows–various birds singing heavenly names, and the poet listening all the while. As she writes, “you make me / want to know who you are.” ~ Brett Foster, Professor of English at Wheaton College, Poet and Author of The Garbage Eater and Fall Run Road

“Message to bird-lovers: be sure to carry a field guide in one pocket and Jane Beal’s wonderful JAZZ BIRDING in the other—before even lifting binoculars, you’ll sight a mourning dove silhouetted against a Chicago sky, hear a raven preach, and meet a very lovely, freckled robin.  I’m going to keep a copy on hand for instant, inspired access to that other, winged world.” ~ Cynthia Kraman, Professor of English at the College of New Rochelle, Poet and Author of Taking on the Local Color and The Mexican Murals


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