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Showing posts with label LSU press. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LSU press. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

JAMES DAVIS MAY Book Launch for poetry collection

Please join us at Young Harris College, Young Harris, GA, on Tuesday, March 15th for the book launch of James Davis May's first poetry collection, Unquiet Things, which was just released by Louisiana State University Press.  The reading, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., will be held in the Hatcher Room, located in the Rollins Campus Center. A book signing will follow the reading.   

Grounded in wonder and fueled by an impulse to praise, the poems in James Davis May's debut collection, Unquiet Things, to be published by LSU Press in March 2016, grapple with skepticism, violence, and death to generate lasting insights into the human experience. With compassion and humor, this second and final volume in Claudia Emerson’s Goat Island Poets series exposes the unseen tragedies and rejoices in the small, surprising moments of grace in everyday life.


May’s poems impart sincere astonishment at the natural world, where experiences of nature serve as "stand-ins, almost, / for grace." His poems seek to transcend cynicism, turning often to the landscapes of North Georgia, his native Pittsburgh, and Eastern Europe, as well as to his literary forebears, for guidance. 

For the poet, no force propels that transcendence more powerfully than love: love for his wife and daughter, love for language, and love for the incomprehensible world that he inhabits. These stylistically varied poems are by turns conversational, earnest, self-deprecating, meditative, and often funny, whether they're discussing grand themes such as love and beauty, or more corporeal subjects like fever and food poisoning.

Lyrical and strange, tragic and amusing, Unquiet Things traces an experiential journey in the ordinary world, uncovering joys that span from the lingering memories of childhood to the losses and triumphs of adulthood.

Originally from Pittsburgh, James Davis May now lives in the Georgia mountains. His poems have appeared in Five Points, the Missouri Review, New England Review, New Ohio Review, New Republic, Rattle, and The Southern Review, among others. He is married to poet Chelsea Rathburn.


Submitted by Rosemary Royston, Georgia Co-Representative for NCWN-West

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SIX POETS OF THE MOUNTAIN SOUTH: FORTHCOMING FROM LSU PRESS

(THIS WILL BE RELEASED DURING NATIONAL POETRY MONTH. )


By John Lang

Southern Literary Studies
Fred Hobson, Series Editor

ISBN-13:978-0-8071-3560-0 PAPER
Page count:240
Trim:5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Illustrations:none
Published:April 2010


$24.95

An LSU Press paperback original

In the most extensive work to date on major poets from the mountain South, John Lang takes as his point of departure an oft-quoted remark by Jim Wayne Miller: “Appalachian literature is—and has always been—as decidedly worldly, secular, and profane in its outlook as the [region’s] traditional religion appears to be spiritual and otherworldly.” Although this statement may be accurate for Miller’s own poetry and fiction, Lang maintains that it does not do justice to the pervasive religious and spiritual concerns of many of the mountain South’s finest writers, including the five other leading poets whose work he analyzes along with Miller’s.

Fred Chappell, Robert Morgan, Jeff Daniel Marion, Kathryn Stripling Byer, and Charles Wright, Lang demonstrates, all write poetry that explores, sometimes with widely varying results, what they see as the undeniable presence of the divine within the temporal world. Like Blake and Emerson before them, these poets find the supernatural within nature rather than beyond it. They all exhibit a love of place in their poems, a strong sense of connection to nature and the land, especially the mountains. Yet while their affirmation of the world before them suggests a resistance to the otherworldliness that Miller points to, their poetry is nonetheless permeated with spiritual questing.

Dante strongly influences both Chappell and Wright, though the latter eventually resigns himself to being simply “a God-fearing agnostic,” whereas Chappell follows Dante in celebrating “the love that moves the sun and other stars.” Byer, probably the least orthodox of these poets, chooses to lay up treasures on earth, rejecting the transcendent in favor of a Native American spirituality of immanence, while Morgan and Marion find in nature what Marion calls a “vocabulary of wonders” akin to Emerson’s conviction that nature is the language of the spiritual.

Employing close readings of the poets’ work and relating it to British and American Romanticism as well as contemporary eco-theology and eco-criticism, Lang’s book is the most ambitious and searching foray yet into the worlds of these renowned post–World War II Appalachian poets.

John Lang, professor of English at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, is the author ofUnderstanding Fred Chappell and editor of Appalachia and Beyond: Conversations with Writers from the Mountain South.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

SHADOW BOX: Fred Chappell

CITY LIGHTS BOOKSOTRE (http://www.lsu.edu/lsupress/bookPages/9780807134528.html) Four years ago Fred Chappell sent me a beautiful broadside of The Foreseeing, telling me that it was a new kind of poem he was now exploring, the "embedded poem," or a poem within a poem, and that it was devilishly difficult. In this poem, the voice of the woman is embedded in that of her partner, who is beginning to realize that she is in love again. The two voices work with and against each other, forming a whole. Call it poetic counterpoint. The "inlaid" poem. Better yet, call it stunning, an enviable achievement. Now these poems, at which Fred has been working since The Foreseeing, have been gathered into a new collection from LSU Press: its title appropriately enough is SHADOW BOX. Last night, August 7, at City Lights Books in Sylva, NC Fred read from SHADOW BOX, with his wife Susan presenting the woman's voice in the poems. The two of them gave a haunting, at times beguiling, performance. (Joyce Moore introduces Fred to the audience in the bookstore's Regional Room.) Spotlight The hamlet sleeps under November stars. Only the page of numerate thought toils through The darkness, shines on the table where, askew And calm, the scholar's lamp burns bright and scars The silence, sending through the slot, the bars And angles of his window square, a true Clean ray, a shaft of patient light, its purview Lonely and remote as the glow of Mars. Brian's wife, the poet Catherine Carter, gets acquainted with Dana Wildsmith, who drove several hours from Georgia to be with Fred and Susan. Catherine's first book, The Memory of Gills, won the Roanoke-Chowan Award two years ago and was highly praised by none other than---Fred Chappell. Dana Wildsmith, a long-time friend of the Chappell's, has published several collections of poetry, as well as numerous essays, the most recent being in The Sun, published out of Chapel Hill. She lives in Bethlehem, Georgia. Fred will be on hand for the NC Literary Festival in Chapel Hill in September, as well as at the Smoky Mountain Bookfair in November, to name just a few opportunities for hearing him and Susan read from his new book. This new collection by the author Lee Smith calls our "resident genius," deserves all the readers it can get! City Lights contact information: more@citylightsnc.com phone: (828) 586-9499 web: http://www.citylightsnc.com

Friday, November 28, 2008

An Appalachian Songbook by Kathryn Stripling Byer

On Thanksgiving Day, I had something special for dessert. WDAV fm station ran the recording of "An Appalachian Songbook," a composition by Kenneth Frazelle, with soprano Jacquelyn Culpepper, pianist Phillip Bush, and me reading poems from WILDWOOD FLOWER and BLACK SHAWL interwoven into the musical fabric. This recording was made at St. Peter's Church, where the Charlotte Chamber Music Series has become a popular program in the area. You may download it at WDAV.org, where you will also find information about the performers. (http://www.wdav.org/printable_html.cfm?page=1_222_0&cat=1&subcat=222&subsub=0&do=view&id=210)



Here are two poems from the program:

DULCIMER


No, I'll not listen.
The sound of it's too sweet,
like honey I licked from the spoon
while he sat on my porch
and played Shady Grove.
"You are the darling of my heart,
stay till the sun goes down."

I remember the hoot owl came closer.
Moths burned their wings in his candle wick.
"Midnight," I said,
and his fingers stirred wind from the strings,
begging, Stay, while he cradled the wood in his lap

for a last song, the hazel-
green eyes of a lost lady.
Weep Willow.
Soul of the laurel shade.

"Come," he said, pointing through dark
to the bed of leaves
we'd gathered, wildflowers strewn
on a pillow of moss.
But I sent him away,
letting go of his hand
without whispering as I do
now when my wits fail me, oh my
sweet, nothing
but sweet
good for nothing man.

from Black Shawl, (LSU press 1998)



EMPTY GLASS

Last night I stood
ringing my empty glass
under the black empty sky
and beginning, of all

things, to sing. The mountains
paid no attention.
The cruel ice did not
melt. But just for a moment

the hoot owl grew silent.
And somewhere the wolves
hiding out in their dens
opened cold, sober eyes.

Here's to you I sang,
meaning the midnight
the dark moon
the empty well,

meaning myself
upon whom
the snow fell
without any apology.

From WILDWOOD FLOWER (LSU Press 1992)