The Seed Vault
Lucas Jacob’s debut collection contains something for every reader. A trio of sonnets encompassing both the eighteenth-century missions and the twentieth-century dance halls of San Antonio; a section-long poem sequence that begins and ends in a prison yard in Stalin’s gulag, and in between travels the world in the company of history’s greatest agricultural botanist; a series of playful interrogations of the rhetoric of the forty-fifth President of the United States. These poems honor the need to find the words for experiences, thoughts, and feelings that exist at, or just beyond, the edge of language.
Lucas Jacob is the author of the chapbooks A Hole in the Light
(Anchor & Plume Press, 2015) and Wishes Wished Just Hard Enough (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). He has received the Gival Press Tri-Language Poetry Prize and the Houston Poetry Festival’s Lucille Johnson Clark Award. His work has appeared in journals including Southwest Review, RHINO, Hopkins Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at Carleton College (MN) and his Master’s at Temple University (PA). For more than twenty years, he has been a teacher and administrator in K-12 schools across the United States. In 2004-05, he had the privilege of serving as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Budapest, Hungary. A native of the Chicago area, he now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
There is an extraordinary balance to Lucas Jacob’s poetry, a sense that the poet’s role is to account for experience in all its variety with deliberate, patient attention. Incidental observations—school children playing in a dinosaur’s footprint or the poet himself accepting with the old men around him the sway of a Budapest tram—are approached with the same attentive but lilting verse. Natural beauty and the beauty of love’s intimacies are drawn together. This is a remarkable book.
— Michael Anania
Luke Jacob’s The Seed Vault presses us to consider a self that exists both as controlled interiority and an outward- spinning seed, rooting itself in larger, global purpose. Jacob reminds his reader that acts of compassion are forces against
‘the blows of men,’ and we see that through the extension of the self, in acts like poem-making or planting, we can feed and be fed. — Jenny Molberg
Luke Jacob’s The Seed Vault is a collection of ‘little worlds / born of the hand’s Big Bang.’ These poems bend and turn like light through stained glass. — Tomás Morín