Daniel Cross Turner and William Wright’s anthology Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry centers on the darker side of southern experience whilst presenting a remarkable array of poets from diverse backgrounds in the American South. As tough-minded as they’re high-minded, the sixty latest poets and two hundred poems anthologized in Hard Lines strengthen the powerful genre of “Grit Lit.”
The volume gathers the work of poets who have for some decades formed the heart of southern poetry in addition to that of emerging voices who will soon change into significant figures in southern literature. These poems sting our sensesinto awareness of a gritty world down South: hard work, hard love, hard drinking, hard times; but they also explore the importance of the land and rural experience, in addition to race- , gender- , and class-based conflicts.
Readers will see, hear (for poetry is meant to ring in the ears), and feel (for poetry is meant to beat in the blood); there is a lot of raucousness in this anthology.And yet the cultural conflicts that ignite southern wildness are continuously depicted in a manner that is lyrical without becoming lugubrious, mournful but not maudlin. A few of these poets are coming to terms with a visibly transforming culture―a “roughness” in and of itself. Indeed many of these poets are helping to change the definition of the South. The anthology also features biographical information on each poet along with further reading suggestions and scholarly sources on latest poetry.
Featured Poets: Betty Adcock, David Bottoms, Kathryn Stripling Byer, James Dickey, Rodney Jones, Yusef Komunyakaa, Ron Rash, Dave Smith , Natasha Trethewey, Charles Wright, Fred Chappell, Kelly Cherry, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Kate Daniels, Kwame Dawes, Claudia Emerson, Andrew Hudgins, T. R. Hummer, Robert Morgan, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Dan Albergotti, Tarfia Faizullah, Forrest Gander, Terrance Hayes, Judy Jordan, John Lane, Michael McFee, Paul Ruffin, Steve Scafidi, Jake Adam York