Ribcage of Time

Ribcage of Time, a poetry collection from a woman’s point of view, is both intimate and universal in its scope of events—family life, birth, death, rape, abortion, genocide from a poet on the ledge of some eighty years of life with language fresh and unsettling.

The poems in Jacqueline Tchakalian’s second poetry collection, Ribcage of Time, refer to Armenian genocide, public murder, rape, home abortions, including one outside the home with tragic repercussions for the writer. These poems have an ever-present wish for improvement, a more sane and equitable society for all. They reference family, the joy of having and being around children, the predicted loss of an ill husband, a plan for a different type of god. They are reflective poems that question the future, make strong assertions, and overall are imbued with hope for the future.


Jacqueline Derner Tchakalian’s collection Ribcage of Time pulses with desire—for the body’s fleeting and insistent pleasures, for the beauty that drips honey from the world’s comb, for more of life itself despite the sting of its difficulties and departures. Wide-ranging and visceral, these poems are thrillingly frank as they chronicle rape, home-done abortions and their catastrophic aftermath, the joys of long-cherished love and lust, death’s strange and haunting impact, and history’s varied oppressions. Ribcage of Time is an inventive, painterly book with its masterful blend of light and shadow and its vivid, precise images that burn themselves on a reader’s brain.

Francesca Bell, author of Whoever Drowned Here

Questions of survival and resilience undergird poems exploring reproductive justice and political and sexual violence. “Should we bring a / mirror, hat, canoe? / Just the skin on / our backs?” asks the speaker of “Interrogation Trail.” Family life—with its loves and losses—explores “how we own,” even as we strive to reclaim “fertile terraces” and “a center that holds.” These bold poems inspire bravery and celebrate hope.

Robin Becker, author of The Black Bear Inside Me

Jacqueline Tchakalian ( Author Website )

Publication Date: October 1, 2024

$16.95 Tradepaper

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ISBN: 978-1-63628-146-9