next door to the dead poems kentucky voices

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Next Door To The Dead

Author : Kathleen Driskell
ISBN : 9780813165738
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 56. 86 MB
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When Kathleen Driskell tells her husband that she's gone to visit the neighbors, she means something different than most. The noted poet -- whose last book, Seed across Snow, was twice listed as a national bestseller by the Poetry Foundation -- lives in an old country church just outside Louisville, Kentucky. Next door is an old graveyard that she was told had fallen out of use. In this marvelous new collection, this turns out not to be the case as the poet's fascination with the "neighbors" brings the burial ground back to life. Driskell frequently strolls the cemetery grounds, imagining the lives and loves of those buried beside her property. These "neighbors," with burial dates as early as 1848, inspire poems that weave stories, real and imagined, from the epitaphs and unmarked graves. Shifting between perspectives, she embraces and inhabits the voices of those laid to rest while also describing the grounds, the man who mows around the markers, and even the flocks of black birds that hover above before settling amongst the gravestones. Next Door to the Dead transcends time and place, linking the often disconnected worlds of the living and the deceased. Just as examining the tombstones forces the author to look more closely at her own life, Driskell's poems and their muses compel us to examine our own mortality, as well as how we impact the finite lives of those around us.

Many Storied House

Author : George Ella Lyon
ISBN : 9780813142760
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 83. 80 MB
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Born in the small, eastern Kentucky coal-mining town of Harlan, George Ella Lyon began her career with Mountain, a chapbook of poems. She has since published many more books in multiple genres and for readers of all ages, but poetry remains at the heart of her work. Many-Storied House is her fifth collection. While teaching aspiring writers, Lyon asked her students to write a poem based on memories rooted in a house where they had lived. Working on the assignment herself, Lyon began a personal journey, writing many poems for each room. In this intimate book, she strives to answer lingering questions about herself and her family: "Here I stand, at the beginning," she writes in the opening lines of the volume, "with more questions than / answers." Collectively, the poems tell the sixty-eight-year-long story of the house, beginning with its construction by Lyon's grandfather and culminating with the poet's memories of bidding farewell to it after her mother's death. Moving, provocative, and heartfelt, Lyon's poetic excavations evoke more than just stock and stone; they explore the nature of memory and relationships, as well as the innermost architecture of love, family, and community. A poignant memoir in poems, Many-Storied House is a personal and revealing addition to George Ella Lyon's body of work.

Appalachian Elegy

Author : Bell Hooks
ISBN : 9780813136691
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 90. 47 MB
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A collection of poems centered around life in Appalachia addresses topics ranging from the marginalization of the region's people to the environmental degradation it has endured throughout history.

Buffalo Dance

Author : Frank Walker
ISBN : 9780813126906
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 68. 28 MB
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" Winner of the 35th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award, 2004 A BookSense 76 Spring 2004 Top 10 Poetry Book! Read an excerpt from the book Listen to Frank X Walker reading on NPR's ""This I Believe"" segment of Morning Edition. This collection of persona poems tells the story of the infamous Lewis & Clark expedition from the point of view of Clark's personal slave, York. The poems form a narrative of York's inner and outer journey, before, during and after the expedition--a journey from slavery to freedom, from the plantation to the great northwest, from servant to soul yearning to be free. Over the course of the saga and through the poems, we are treated to subtle and overt commentaries on literacy, slavery, native Americans, buffalo, the environment, and more. Though Buffalo Dance purposely references historic accounts and facts, it is fictionalized poetry, and Frank X Walker's rare blend of history and art breathes life into an important but overlooked historical figure. Frank X Walker is the author of Affrilachia and the soon to be released Black Box , two collections of poetry. He teaches in the department of English & Theatre and is the interim Director of the African/African American Studies Program at Eastern Kentucky University. He is also a visiting professor in Pan African Studies department at the University of Louisville. A 2004 recipient of the Lillian Smith Book Award, he lives in Lexington, KY. Click here for Frank Walker's website.

The Man Who Loved Birds

Author : Fenton Johnson
ISBN : 9780813166605
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 37. 7 MB
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Having taken great risks -- to immigrate to America, to take monastic vows -- Bengali physician Meena Chatterjee and Brother Flavian are each seeking safety and security when they encounter Johnny Faye, a Vietnam vet, free spirit, and expert marijuana farmer. Amid the fields and forests of a Trappist monastery, Johnny Faye patiently cultivates Meena's and Flavian's capacity for faith, transforming all they thought they knew about duty and desire. In turn they offer him an experience of civilization other than war and chaos. But Johnny Faye's law-breaking sets him against a district attorney for whom the law is a tool for ambition rather than justice. Their confrontation leads to a harrowing reckoning that ensnares Dr. Chatterjee and Brother Flavian, who must make a life-or-death choice between an act of justice that may precipitate their ruin or a betrayal that offers salvation. Inspired by the real-life state police kidnapping and murder of a legendary storyteller and petty criminal, The Man Who Loved Birds engages pressing contemporary issues through a timeless narrative of ill-fated romance. Celebrated author Fenton Johnson has woven a seamless, haunting fable exploring the eternal conflicts between free will and destiny, politics and nature, the power of law and the power of love.

When Winter Come

Author : Frank X Walker
ISBN : 9780813138893
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 86. 59 MB
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A sequel to the award-winning Buffalo Dance, Frank X Walker's When Winter Come: The Ascension of York is a dramatic reimagining of Lewis and Clark's legendary exploration of the American West. By focusing on the humanity and struggles of York, Clark's slave, When Winter Come challenges conventional views of the journey's heroes and exposes the deeds, both great and ghastly, of the men behind the myth. Grounded in the history of the famous trip, Walker's vibrant account allows York -- little more than a forgotten footnote in traditional narratives -- to embody the full range of human ability, knowledge, emotion, and experience. He is a skillful hunter who kills his prey with both grace and reverence, and he thinks deeply about the proper place of humans in the natural world. York knows the seasons "like a book," and he "can read moss, sunsets, the moon, and a mare's foaling time with a touch." The Native peoples understand and honor York's innate bond with the earth. Though his expertise is integral to the journey's success, York's masters do not reward him; they know only the way of the lash. The alternately heartbreaking and uplifting poems in When Winter Come are told from multiple perspectives and rendered in vivid detail. On the journey, York forges a spiritual connection and shares sensual delights with a Nez Perce woman, and he aches when he is forced to leave her and their unborn son. Walker's poems capture the profound feelings of love and loss on each side of this ill-fated meeting of souls. When the trek ends and York is sent back to his former home, his wife and stepmother air their joys and grievances. As the perspectives of Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, and others in the party emerge, Walker also gives voice to York's knife, his hunting shirt, and the river waters that have borne the labors and travels of thousands before and after the Lewis and Clark expedition. Despite fleeting hints that escape is possible, slavery continues to bind York and quell the joyful noise in his spirit until his death. Walker's poems, however, give York his voice after centuries of silence. When Winter Come exalts the historical persona of a slave and lifts the soul of a man. York ascends out of his chains, out of oblivion, and into flight.

Blue Etiquette

Author : Kathleen Driskell
ISBN : 159709238X
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 89. 8 MB
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When Kathleen Driskell pulled an old edition of Emily Post's Etiquette from the used bookstore shelf and blew dust off the blue linen cover, she instantly found herself and her family within those pages--not as the Worldlys, Oldlineages, or the Gildings (archetypes Post created to demonstrate how to properly manage a grand house full of servants), but as the housemaids, cooks, and useful men working for those very rich. The noted poet--whose collection Seed Across Snow was twice listed as a national bestseller by the Poetry Foundation--explores class, the workplace, and those tense interactions between the haves and the have nots in her new collection. As America watches its middle-class quickly decline, Blue Etiquette rings with relevance.

Upheaval

Author : Chris Holbrook
ISBN : 9780813139296
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 74. 5 MB
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In 1995, Chris Holbrook burst onto the southern literary scene with Hell and Ohio: Stories of Southern Appalachia, stories that Robert Morgan described as "elegies for land and lives disappearing under mudslides from strip mines and new trailer parks and highways." Now, with the publication of Upheaval, Holbrook more than answers the promise of that auspicious debut. In eight interrelated stories set in Eastern Kentucky, Holbrook again captures a region and its people as they struggle in the face of poverty, isolation, change, and the devastation of land and resources at the hands of the coal and timber industries. In the title story, Haskell sees signs of disaster all around him, from the dangers inherent in the strip-mining machinery he and his coworkers operate to the accident waiting to happen when his son plays with a socket wrench. Holbrook employs a native's ear for dialect and turns of phrase to reveal his characters' complex interior lives. In "The Timber Deal," two brothers -- Russell, a recovering addict recently released from prison, and Dwight, who hasn't worked since being injured in a coal truck accident -- try to convince their upwardly mobile sister, Helen, to agree to lease out timber rights to the family land. Dwight is unable to communicate his feelings, even as he seethes with rage: "Helen can't see past herself, is what it is. If John James had fractured his back in two places, it'd be a different story. If he'd broke his neck, it'd be a different story told." Written with a gritty, unflinching realism reminiscent of the work of Larry Brown and Cormac McCarthy, the stories in Upheaval prove that Holbrook is not only a faithful chronicler and champion of Appalachia's working poor but also one of the most gifted writers of his generation.

Come And Go Molly Snow

Author : Mary Ann Taylor-Hall
ISBN : 9780813159911
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 78. 16 MB
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Mary Ann Taylor-Hall's highly acclaimed first novel, Come and Go, Molly Snow, introduces us to Carrie Marie Mullins, a gifted Kentucky bluegrass fiddler and singer in the Hawktown Road band. After moving to Lexington to develop her talents, Carrie becomes infatuated with the band's leader, Cap Dunlap. Her romantic distraction prevents Carrie from saving her five-year-old daughter, Molly, when she careens down the driveway and is killed by a truck. Overwhelmed with grief, Carrie breaks down. Cap finds Carrie in this state of distress and takes her to Ona and Ruth Barkley, two elderly sisters living in an old farmhouse. It is on the sisters' farm that Carrie is able to slowly come to terms with her heartache and guilt over Molly's death. As she picks up the pieces of her shattered life, Carrie draws on the two women's friendship, her inner strength, and finally, the healing power of music.

Affrilachia

Author : Frank X. Walker
ISBN : 0967542405
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 54. 67 MB
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Collects poems about the African American experience in such rural areas as the Appalachian region.

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