Desert Elegy

Desert Elegy, Finalist for the Women's Voices Award for Poetry

A finalist for the New Women’s Voices Prize in Poetry, Desert Elegy was published by Finishing Lines Press in a handmade, limited edition chapbook. Here is a sample poem from the collection:



John Hierholzer

John Hierholzer, my grandfather

You shuffled through the desert
A handful of seeds tucked in the pocket of your bathrobe

A shabby cap settled on your head
A pair of thousand-year-old slippers on your thousand-year-old feet

Like a story from a forgotten gospel
You could awaken shy globes of mallow from forsaken beds

And coax upward long whips of slimwood


Desert Mallow

You could even summon the creamy petals of ghost flowers
Toward the cool paradise of your carport

(How feeble this human heart–
The night passes even if we haven’t finished with it.)

Now that you have left me
I think of the outfit you’ve been handed in heaven
how nothing on earth quite matches it



Praise for Desert Elegy

In these spare, elegant poems, Danell Jones mourns our own fading and frailties, yet challenges us to “let the years alone,” to rejoice in the fact that “we are alive in the most ordinary way.”
Virginia Tranel
author of Ten Circles Upon the Pond


Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert

These are brave poems, urging us to “lean into” the desert’s harsh aridity. Here death is beautiful; here beauty cannot die. In Desert Elegy, Jones combines psychology and landscape with a spare hand and perfectly suited diction.
Cara Chamberlain
author of Hidden Things and The Divine Botany


Desert Elegy portrays the creatures that inhabit and depart from the desert: an appaloosa colt, a favorite cat, a beloved father, an infant. In this world of the Mojave Desert, Jones doesn’t turn away from despair, but she allows us to see new life emerging from loss. Even those about to depart carry pockets full of seeds.
Tami Haaland
former Montana Poet Laureate, author of  What Does Not Return,
When We Wake in the Night and Breath in Every Room


Desert Earth

Desert Earth