Writer, Poetry Lover, Tree-hugger

From the Longing Orchard

A Novel

Eighteen-year-old Sonya Hudson has been gripped by phobia since she was thirteen. What would make navigating the world so difficult for this budding visual artist? When the story opens, she lives with her mother and her sister in a suburb in New York in the late 1970s. The narrative carries us back through her childhood, where she struggles with the family’s frequent moving and with her parents’ increasingly fraught marriage. Lingering at the periphery of her consciousness is the shadow of a damaged boy she knew when she was very young. Reverence for the natural world provides comfort, as does her fierce attachment to her sister and her parents’ poignant guidance. But it is the intimacy with another young woman that ultimately offers a path to healing.

Red Hen Press has recently nominated this novel for both The Aspen Words Literary Prize and The Chautauqua Prize. 


Jessica Jopp

Thank you for your interest in my work and for visiting this site, created at the encouragement of Red Hen Press staff, who like their authors to help put the word out about their books.  My book with Red Hen is a novel, though I think as a poet.  By that I mean I revel in—understand things by way of—metaphor and imagery.

Poetry is concentration of experience, not abbreviation of it; in fact, it serves as a counter to brevity for speed’s sake, which seems unfortunately to be the intent of some current modes of communication.  My pitch is for readers to linger, ideally take time, if they can, to savor.  And notice the way immersion in the language of poetry and fiction can suspend time.  We have all read novels that provide this magic.  I hope mine does for you.

Upcoming Events

  • Reading and Reception, hosted by Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA, March 6, 2024, 3:30-5:00.
  • Reading for Lit Night at The Artists Hand Gallery, Indiana, Pennsylvania, March 29, 2024, 6:00-8:00 pm https://www.theartistshandgallery.com/events-classes
  • Feature Reader, Writers Night Out, Straw Dog Writers Guild, June 4, 2024, 6-8 pm, Forbes Library, Northampton, MA

Recent events

  • Reading with MOCO Underground Writers Showcase, hosted by Sandy Spring Museum, Sandy Spring, Maryland, December 7th, 2023, 7:00-8:30 pm (Zoom)
  • Reading and Book Signing, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, October 19th, 2023, 7:00-8:00 pm, Humanities Division

Breathtaking at the level of language with characters both complicated and alive on the page, From the Longing Orchard will enchant you while it breaks your heart—a perfect reading experience if you ask me. I loved it.

– Anne Dyer Stuart, author of What Girls Learn