“While it can be risky to judge a book by its cover, this is not the case with Jorie Ryan’s most recent collection of poems, A Daisy in a Jar. The simple beauty of the yellow daisy in its repurposed glass jar against a deep blue background is a fitting image for what Jorie is endeavouring to do in these poems. At one level, these are accessible poems about the consolations and challenges of ordinary life through its seasons of belonging, dislocation and homecoming. Never far away is the poet’s search for identity, for the deeper meaning of her life within some larger story.
This is a hopeful book. Whilst not avoiding times of personal difficulty, or concerns about what is happening in the wider world – ecological and pandemic issues, for example – Jorie does not linger there. Describing herself as ‘the dreamer, the optimistic traveller’, she readily finds herself delighted and consoled by natural beauty or the satisfactions of tending a home, a garden or a relationship.
Never pious or preachy, and often playful, these poems are like a spiritual practice helping the poet to find her way home. In this sense, A Daisy in a Jar is a pilgrim memoir.”
– Frances MacKay, former editor of Eremos Magazine.