Carolina Ghost Woods: Poems (Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets)

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9780807125564: Carolina Ghost Woods: Poems (Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets)

Physical and emotional privation, familial violence, racial enmity, and recurrent death are the features of this collection of poetry, set amid the landscape of the South.

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About the Author:

Judy Jordan's poems have appeared in Poetry, Crossroads, and other journals and will be included in the upcoming anthology American Poetry: Next Generation. She has been the recipient of a Henry Hoyns Fellowship, a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship, and the first-place prize in the Western Humanities Review's Utah Writers Competition. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

From Publishers Weekly:

Wintry in tone, titles and topics--"Ice molds my life" as one poem puts it--Jordan's debut scours the wooded terrain for metaphors of death ("It's dirt and dust after all") and trolls her family history for murders, suicides, threats and promises of the end. The governing influence here is Charles Wright, whose learned, long-lined, colloquial mysticism speaks through lines like "The dead stow my name in the slack of their mouths," or "the dead have me in their pocket," yet places such possessions in specific situations, as "When Hitchhiking into West Virginia" or when stuck in "the all-night deli." The book's wanderings come as a result of mourning for a variety of figures: the poet's grandmother, other relatives, friends, neighbors violently dead. As poems answer each other and develop the theme, the dead become the poet's lost form and lost work--particularly the mother. When the speaker watches toads possessing "faith in their wholeness and desire," she knows what she lacks. Alliteration, internal rhyme and other resources of sound are on impressive display throughout the book, which won last year's Walt Whitman award from the Academy of American Poets, but the whole can't quite lift grief out the specific grievings. (Apr.)

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