"Jolliff is like a postmodern Job, who alternates between belief, skepticism, and earnest longing to believe. His poems create a theodicy by presenting intimate portraits of family, personages from history, and biblical characters, or even himself, cataloging with deft observation and wry wit the foibles and real evil along with uncalculated, unconscious acts of virtue and love."
--David Mehler, editor of Triggerfish Critical Review
"Twisted Shapes of Light maps a humanity sown, cultivated, tended, and harvested from the farms and churches of Midwest Ohio to the suburbs and campuses of coastal Oregon. Jolliff's deeply lived poems sing a faithful compassion towards people and places that often defy any evidence of a merciful God. Dramatizing how we live our doubt and pain, our belief and joy, these verses remind us that evidence is not what we need."
--Samuel Smith, Professor of English, Messiah College
"Jolliff captures struggle with spirit in all its forms: the trepidations of a student at registration, the mirror of reluctance seen in cattle stunned with the unexpected gift of hay in winter, the unabashed joyous explosion of children from stifling schoolhouse doors, and the ghosts that visit a farmer listening to the devilish beat of rain on a tin barn roof. . . . And, of course, the songs of the people at missions, in the fields, at funerals, and in shelters--Jolliff adds his delicate songs to theirs in unison."
--Michael F. Latza, editor of Willow Review
"Humble and radiant, Jolliff tends the thorns of faith knowing that to touch is to bleed, to grasp the rough-hewn cross is to ask for a handful of splinters. But what joy in the wounding, Jolliff proclaims with a penitents' bold irreverence and deep compassion."
--Gina Ochsner, author of People I Wanted to Be
"From a mud-wracked farm in southern Ohio to a small gray college in western Oregon, Jolliff carries with him the shadows of the poor in spirit cast by 'twisted shapes of light.' Few other poets can so evoke the wretchedness of our human experience and yet, at the same time, intuit its hidden spiritual comforts. Read him for a shock of dire recognition and come away with hard-earned hope."
--Paul J. Willis, author of Say This Prayer into the Past
"These poems not only reveal Jolliff as a beautiful writer and craftsman but also as a sharp-eyed observer of the world, offering a vision that is simultaneously generous, precise, and humorous. Twisted Shapes of Light manages to achieve two sometimes contradictory goals: rewarding the poetry aficionado while welcoming the casual reader."
--Nathaniel L. Hansen, editor of Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature