Red Jess contains poems about love and sex, illness and death, the beauties and terrors of both man's world and the natural world. Poets wanting to learn how to assemble a collection would do well to study this one as it is a masterpiece of artistic construction. Boxes, birds, hearts, photos, cameras, and films are among the various motifs that Montgomery weaves throughout her three sections, creating delightfully subtle and surprising links from one poem to the next. She also varies point of view, format, length, and verse form; we never know what to expect when turning the page. Each poem is written with a masterful touch. Montgomery performs astonishing feats with extended metaphors, images, and devices of sound, engaging our intellect, our imagination, and all our senses. These poems are impressive for their lyricism as well as for their conciseness. Readers will not find one unnecessary word or syllable here. What they will find is poem after poem of exceptional clarity and rich complication.