Books in Brief 2022
Blooms follows her critically-acclaimed debut, Every Bone a Prayer, with a story set in Blackdamp County, Kentucky. “Where I Can’t Follow explores the forces that hold people in place, and how they adapt, survive, and struggle to love a place that doesn’t always love them back” (Sourcebooks).
Chosen for publication by poets Jessica Jacobs and Nickole Brown, Dougherty’s collection is gut-wrenchingly honest. Jacobs and Brown note, “Raw and plainspoken, heartbreaking yet humorous, this book is free of even the slightest hint of poetry-posturing” (Jacar Press).
Griswold’s beautiful and inventive debut is described as “original and often startling.” “Lyrical, powerful, and bold, The Attic Bedroom explores survival and healing as a woman looks back on an earlier experience with a community that turns out to be a cult” (Milk and Cake Press).
I Thought I Heard a Cardinal Sing: Ohio's Appalachian Voices, poetry anthology edited by Kari Gunter-Seymour
The editor describes this diverse anthology as representing “Ohio’s Appalachian population, providing examples of honor, endurance, courage, history, love of family, the land; and provides evidence of how even against the odds our people continue to thrive” (Sheila-Na-Gig).
Described as a “riveting deep-dive into one woman's experience with bipolar disorder and God,” Hutsell’s second novel is “the spare and sympathetic recounting of a journey—from derailment, to diagnosis, to the discovery of a lifetime” (Paraclete Press).
An exploration of how patriarchal societies define womanhood, Johnson’s poems are “strongly womanist and Affrilachian…She explores the nuances of gender and sexuality with lyrical compassion and gives female bodies voice,” writes Kelly Norman Ellis. (Accents Publishing).
This is the 20th published book from Knoxville-based poet/teacher Marilyn Kallet. “If poems are bodies that remind us of our bodies, then Kallet’s somatic poems tackle what it means to be alive and dazzling,” writes poet Tiana Clark about Even When We Sleep (Black Widow Press).
If you pre-ordered Priddy’s debut collection from Shadelandhouse Modern Press, you received a pack of Cherry Bomb Tomato Seeds inside! Priddy’s poems, “a heart-racing, heart-breaking lyric,” are endorsed by Rebecca Gayle Howell, Maurice Manning, Molly Peacock, and others.
“How do the events of our lives chorus into through-composed pieces without reprise or return to familiar themes? When do we finally sing along with the unmistakable music of the spheres? In her first full-length collection, Schultz begins by looking ‘in instead of up’ at the cadences we underline and define as our own” (Dos Madres Press).
A journalist and novelist, Thomas sets her three stories in farming communities in central Ohio. Diane Kendig notes: “Thomas’s evocative, brilliant depiction of these settings and characters remains both contemporary and timeless, and above all, unforgettable” (Bottom Dog).
An extension of Walker’s 2004 classic, this edition features “a new historical essay, preface, and sixteen additional poems,” and “speaks to such themes as racism, the power of literacy, the inhumanity of slavery, and the crimes against Native Americans, while reawakening and reclaiming the lost ‘voice’ of York” (University Press of Kentucky).
“This first book on Morgan collects appreciations and analyses by some of his most dedicated readers, including fellow poets, authors, critics and scholars. An unpublished interview with him is included, along with an essay by him on the importance of sense of place, and a bibliography of publications by and about him” (McFarland & Company, Inc.).
Whitehead’s new collection of stories mixes "traditional prose with screenplay and script-hybrid" and "encourages close examination of how American media and our complicity in its marriage of violence and culture perpetuate the human and environmental crises” (Unsolicited Press).