The Amateur Scientist's Notebook


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Baobab Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.8 X 0.3 inches | 0.26 pounds

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About the Author

Jesse DeLong teaches Composition and Literature at Louisiana State University, but he grew up in Northern Idaho and Western Montana. He holds a English from the University of Montana and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Alabama. His poems have appeared in the anthologies Best New Poets 2011 and Feast: Poetry and Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner as well as the journals Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, Indiana Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and Typo. With book artist Sonja G. Rossow, he has published several artist's books and chapbooks, including Tearings and Other Poems, and Earthwards, both through Curley Head Press. Other than traditional academic settings, DeLong has taught Literature at Donaldson Correctional Facility and has worked as a Case Manager at a Reentry Services Center, teaching hard-and-soft-skill courses, such as Anger Management and Parenting, to parolees and probationers. He resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


The fact that Jesse De Long's debut collection, The Amateur Scientist's Notebook, is difficult to render through snippets of quotation is a testament to the richness of its ambitions, its richness of observations, and the exuberance of its linguistic thrill. It should also be noted that, despite its aspirations, this is a deeply unpretentious book; the poet's enthusiasms are wide; his embrace of the big world, of the intimacies of daily life and of history--as well as of the possibilities of his art--saves his work from both pretention and obfuscation while allowing him to reach beyond the more well-trodden and familiar paths of contemporary poetry. The Amateur's Scientist's Notebook is, in short, a pleasure. - Michael Hettich (South Florida Poetry Journal, February 2021)

In The Amateur Scientist's Notebook, Jesse DeLong tracks the intricacy of sunflowers, families, fishing rivers and particles, Idaho farms, chemicals, miners, birds. With descriptions that feel like long unspooling field guides, he stitches into perception the smallest events of grasses and feathers, and the desire that forms and slackens between people. His poems are acts of attention that carry, often indistinguishably, great beauty and disillusion. -- Joanna Klink, The Nightfields

"Shall we step forward or fall back?" The quest to stop time is a quest for poets, mathematicians, and magicians, and Jesse DeLong embodies all of these identities and more in The Amateur Scientist's Notebook. Through their seamless unification of lyric, pastoral, and confessional traditions, the poems in this collection unwrap both the eternal and ephemeral nature of memory, family, and home. -- Jason McCall, Two-Face God

Jesse DeLong's The Amateur Scientist's Notebook is full of a vibrant speech-sound benevolence, of the natural world as a steadying subject, and the sciences observed, discerned through description and keen dialectics. Phosporous of which DeLong speaks, can be likened to the features of these poems: elements existing in their own allotropic forms of color, light, and sensation providing us with a gentle, prudent, and whittled intensity. And verses between the you and I address the study of love relations and how they alight, illume this delicate flowering world: You are the bulb I was born to close my eyes to. These are gorgeous, urging and sentient poems. -- Prageeta Sharma, Grief Sequence

Jesse Delong's inkpot is his heart; and his blest West quill is the birdbone or the staunchstem; and the arc of each deepseen word comes tendered by seating quill in actual ticker. Not since I closed the eyes of my mind and inhaled Roethke's greenhouse-pointillisms have I wrung my bell upon such epic green as this. Furthermore, the true legends-in-the-making have a knack for filling every bitter longing with a beauty thicker than the thing lost. I've been a loud fan of Jesse Delong's poems for a very long time. In the next 33 seconds, one page into The Amateur Scientist's Notebook, you will be too. -- Abraham Smith, Destruction of Man

In The Amateur Scientist's Notebook, Jesse DeLong alchemizes, from the burnt remains of the past, a music of phosphorescent sorrow. Part lament, part experiment in the erudition of the senses, these are poems "torn from skin towards the current / of song, wind, & root." I return to them. I learn from their beauty. -- Peter Streckfus, Errings