New poetry collection redefines aging with humor, authenticity

In a world where aging is often feared, award-nominated author, poet and psychotherapist Jane Seskin takes readers on an emotional road trip where they can celebrate the joys and challenges of aging . In “Older, Wiser, Shorter: The Truth and Humor of Life After 65” (Tallfellow Press, August 21, 2024), Jane Seskin reflects on how resilience and self-discovery helped her combat life’s trials and tribulations, especially as she grew older. Through a collection of 89 poems, Seskin redefines the narrative of aging and offers readers a positive take on what is often perceived as a negative.

“Older, Wiser, Shorter” is an insightful collection of poetry; authentic, funny, quirky and heartfelt, acknowledging the physical vulnerabilities, emotional losses, and surprises people encounter in their  senior years. Seskin also pays tribute to  the sense of power, resilience and new-found joys people discover as they acknowledge and accept their aging. Seskin’s talent for finding the universal connecting tissue of even our most intimate moments will resonate with readers seeking to discover new ways to honor the past, celebrate the present, and welcome the future.

Growing old is a gift. Believe in it. Respect it. Embrace it. From varicose veins to doctors’ appointments to forgetting why you walked into the kitchen, “Older Wiser Shorter” illuminates the ups and downs of growing older, one poem at a time. Not to be feared but welcomed, aging is natural, exciting, and it’s better than the alternative!

“I sat down to read one poem last night and I ended up reading half the book. I feel as though I know you. You have definitely captured the experience of aging.”

—Mary Pipher, author of Women Rowing North and My Life in Light

“Older, Wiser, Shorter”

Jane Seskin | August 21, 2024 | Tallfellow Press | Poetry 

Paperback | 9780578447247 | $15.00

“Optimistic” by Jane Seskin from “Older, Wiser, Shorter”

Last week

I ordered

one thousand sheets

of personalized

note paper.

Advance Praise for “Older, Wiser, Shorter” 

“Even though I’m not a fan of poetry, I found Jane Seskin’s poems to be a delight. They hit home.”

—Jane Brody, former personal health columnist, New York Times

“Your words jump and laugh and rest and reach…it’s an activity reading those poems! I love them.”

— Elizabeth Lesser, cofounder Omega Institute and author of the New York Times Bestseller  Broken Open, and other books including Cassandra Speaks

“You don’t need to be at a late stage of life to appreciate and learn from Seskin’s energetic collection of poems…We are blessed to have work such as this to help us see our way gracefully.”

Justen Ahren, Martha’s Vineyard Poet Laureate and author of Devotion to Writing

“Jane Seskin writes with keen insight and eyes open to the inadvertent miracles in our everyday life.”

—Arthur Sze, author of Glass Constellation

“She’s lost height, years, love, and youthful abandon but in doing so, has gained a deep understanding of what it really means to be alive. Her poetry is honest, heartbreaking, witty and uplifting, a gift she wraps in gratitude.”       

—Carol Waldman, MS, Gerontology, former Executive Director, Glen Cove Senior Center

“Candid, funny, and best of all inspiring, the poems in Jane Seskin’s “Older Wiser Shorter” throw open a window on aging. Suddenly, a breeze of resilience sails through. I learned from Seskin’s poems: they become like mentors for the strange adventure of late-life living. Kindness infuses them. The ‘enormous optimism’ of this intrepid book might prove the greatest wisdom of the ages.”  

“Jane Seskin’s poems take us into her world and shed new light on our own. An important book for older women and those who care for and about them.”

—Ann Burack-Weiss, PH.D, LCSW, author of The Lioness in Winter: Writing an Old Woman’s Life

More about the Author

Jane Seskin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the author of 13 books (most recently the poetry collection “Older, Wiser, Shorter: The Truth and Humor of Life After 65”.)  She’s also written nonfiction articles and poetry online and for national magazines and journals (20 poems published in Cosmopolitan Magazine, five poems in Woman’s Day. Eighteen of her posts have been published in the Metropolitan Diary column in the New York Times.) Jane has been a writer-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center and Noepe Center for Literary Arts. She has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Ms. Seskin is a practicing psychotherapist, who counseled survivors in individual and group treatment at the Crime Victims Treatment Center in New York for 20 years.

In her free time, she enjoys the theater, walking by the Hudson River, visiting with friends, reading poetry and mysteries (Louise Penny, David Baldacci, Donna Leon) and listening to jazz (Keith Jarrett, Houston Person, Chris Botti). Give her a piece of bread and butter and she’s a happy camper! Jane wrote therapeutic sound-bites on Twitter under the title: “Emotional Band-Aid. Small Steps for Change.” Find out more about her at her website.

In an interview, Jane Seskin can discuss:

  • Turning the stereotypically negative view of aging into a humorous and intimate poetry collection
  • How writing has allowed her to explore self-discovery and resulted in resilience 
  • The process of writing poetry versus her other works
  • Her mindset that aging is natural, can be exciting, and something to look forward to
  • How creating each poem is an experience in navigating aging

An Interview with Jane Seskin

1. What inspired you to write about aging through poetry?

I’ve been poeming for more than 40 years. It’s a natural way for me to quickly put a feeling or experience on paper to think about, reflect and expand upon in the days that follow.

2. What do you hope readers will take away from your collection of poetry?

I hope readers will identify with the stories I tell and know they’re not alone in this process of growing older.  That all of us age differently. And to some degree we still have the choice to create a full rich life.

3. What is the biggest challenge of navigating life trials, tribulations and vulnerabilities, especially when you begin to age? How can one be resilient to this challenge?

Vulnerability is shareable. When you tell another person of your feelings you make connections and that is the beginning of community. I’ve included Vows in this book that are affirmations to build on. When you affirm yourself, give yourself validation through the Vows, you build self-esteem and that is a pretty powerful feeling!

4. What is the most important lesson that your self-discovery journey has taught you?

That I am okay. That life is different at different ages. I’ve learned I can adapt to change.  That friendship is extraordinary and necessary. 

5. What does your poetry writing process look like? Where do you seek out inspiration for your poems?

I am alive and that is my inspiration. Days are both  difficult and soaring with joy and I let myself be open to all. As a therapist I am acutely aware of people’s behavior, the landscape around me and what goes unsaid. I also am very curious and eager to hear the stories of others and create my own.

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