An Affair In The Valley
A #1 Amazon Best Seller
Winner of 2 International Book Awards
Embark on a powerful journey through the darkness into the beauty and peace of the light.
Told with poignant, passionate prose and reflecting the universal themes of love, life, joy and gratitude, An Affair in the Valley forms a powerful and moving testament to openings – opening the door to home, to the greatness of life, to love and its companions, joy and gratitude. Echoing author Steve Jackson’s personal journey through hardship and darkness, this exquisite collection explores both the dark and the light, from sorrow to rapture, and his ascent to a place of peace.
Steve sees the light because he’s felt the darkness, living for months out of his pickup with no end in sight. But through this, he was liberated and delivered to the light, freeing his mind as he witnessed the love and beauty of life around him. His poems are a glowing testament of a conscientious witness, enhanced by his uncanny knack for capturing the spirit of a moment, crafting a unique and flowing narrative which allows readers to extract each poem’s purest essence.
If Dante’s Inferno is a guided descent into the hideous abyss, then An Affair In The Valley is the reverse – an ascendance into light and the lightness of being, an affirmation that “this is your home – the universe."
#1 Amazon Best Seller
in 5 categories
Maincrest Media Book Award Winner
An Affair in the Valley: A Collection of Poems is passionate poetry about openings, opening the door to home, to the greatness of life, to love an its companions, joy and gratitude. These poems have been scraped off the wall of Steve's everyday life and carefully sifted through an exquisite prism of awareness. Steve sees the light because he's seen and felt the darkness. He's heard a hundred silent doors slam behind him. But there is no bitterness here. His poems are an accessible, glowing testament of a conscientious witness with an uncanny knack for isolating precise words and the exact inflection of the moment, which he freezes into language that allows readers to extract the poem's purest essence. If Dante's Inferno is a guided descent into the hideous abyss, then An Affair in the Valley: A Collection of Poems is the reverse, an ascendance into light and the lightness of being, an affirmation that "This is your home, the universe, and the universe loves you."
Editor, Los Angeles Poets Press
An Affair in the Valley by Steve Jackson is an uplifting collection of poems that present a captivating portrait of growth and inspiration. An Affair in the Valley follows the life and struggle of a singular, recurring speaker, with readers ushered into the book with a strong sense that these poems were deeply inspired by Jackson’s life. The book’s vignette-like poems feature numerous characters that the speaker encounters along the way: family, friends, lovers, strangers, etc. At the hands of these characters or by what Jackson might call Fate or the Universe, he experiences abandonment, betrayal, grace, homelessness, limitless love, and an abundance of other twists and turns which ultimately shape the speaker’s evolution through life.
Throughout the collection, Jackson also chronicles the similarly turbulent experiences of many of those other characters as well.
The poems in An Affair in the Valley explore the duality of suffering and deliverance. Jackson paints a profound image of a man who has experienced unimaginable suffering. He refuses to shy away from the dissonance between how painful and how beautiful the world can be at the same time. He embraces the paradox of life. Jackson’s secondary themes emphasize the role of unconditional love and self-acceptance in one’s journey from darkness into the light, images which recur throughout several of his poems. An Affair in the Valley’s thematic substance is, by far, the collection’s standout feature. Without making any off-putting assertions, it tugs at bigger questions, and insists that there is a cosmic quality to the human experience that is bigger than all of us; it includes the love, the loss, heartache, joy, and everything in between.
Jackson finds the right moments throughout the book to demonstrate his proficiency writing in a more traditional poetic voice, but most of his poems adopt a rather narrative approach. Many of them contain quite a bit of dialogue and are driven by different characters and the ways in which they have touched the speaker’s life or the ways he has touched theirs. This unique stylistic choice presents itself as a strength in Jackson’s poems. His style of poetry lends itself to his ability to tell a larger, interconnected, cohesive story about the speaker’s life and experience. The collection is grounded by a kind of chronology — an arc — not especially common in collections of poetry. In addition, when he embraces the fractured and abstract, we can sense that there is a deep sense of intentionality behind his different approaches. The hybrid style of poetry casts a wide net and will appeal to a wider audience of readers.
In An Affair in the Valley, Jackson’s unique voice shines through loud and clear — enough so that we have no trouble hearing the compelling, beautiful message it declares.
Maincrest Media Book Reviews
Poet Steve Jackson's writing in AN AFFAIR IN THE VALLEY reads like a love letter to joy, pain, relationships of all sorts, and the truth that what connects us in this human experience is complex and deeper than any ocean. Moreover, his masterful approach to poetry, which includes prose that strikes the heart like having a conversation with a close confidante, creates an intimate space which feels warm and hopeful, even while exploring sadder subjects. My personal favorite poems include themes of freedom and of love itself, especially when the poet struggles to understand why it is he deserves it. There's such vulnerability, and, to me, vulnerability is one of the greatest aspects of good writing.
Steve utilizes beautiful language, hauntingly truth-filled questions, and equally genuine answers that reveal how worthwhile life is when we choose to fully experience it. A profound work. I'm definitely going to re-read again and again...and again. I feel like every read will give me new glimpses of life.
It is striking how visual Steve Jackson's poetry is. With seemingly few words, Jackson immerses readers in a new world with each poem. The poems are not just descriptive, they are evocative of the emotions and events they portray. Part of the strength of them clearly lies in their truth. Each is a slice of the writer's life. He uses precise language to bring his lived experiences, both highs and lows, to life. It creates an intimate portrait of a life that is more unique than the standard memoir. It is a light read that goes quickly but still leaves the reader feeling that they have heard a complete story.
Follow the Journey
Read excerpts from Steve Jackson's books, An Affair in the Valley, The Harbor and Wade in the Water.