Every place has its own poetry. For some places, the poetry appears in the tones of voice between neighbors in the grocery store, or in the spirit people share when a high school football team brings them out of their houses on Friday evenings, or even through the sounds engines make as they idle in traffic on the road out of the city after a workday. The poetry of Appalachia sings in all those familiar ways, but also in the music of the actual poems collected in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III: Southern Appalachia. This anthology of up to date poetry arrives from one of The united states’s most vibrant literary communities, an area with a rich storytelling history and beautiful natural landscape, the ceaselessly misunderstood Appalachian South. Readers familiar with writing from Appalachia will be pleased to see work from such favorites as Charles Wright, Robert Morgan, and Fred Chappell, yet will be intrigued by the already distinctive voices of emerging talents like Melissa Range and D. Antwan Stewart. This collection of poems is the only one of its kind, a snapshot album of a timeless place, as it is represented at the present moment.
“For reasons that don’t seem to be entirely clear, there was an explosion of poetry in the Southern Appalachian region in contemporary years. Perhaps this creative surge has been inspired by the rapid changes in the region, as the vast hunting ranges of the Cherokees are crossed by superhighways, and golf courses, casinos, condominiums, and shopping malls spread into the shadows of the highest peaks. Or perhaps the poetry is a celebration of a region still discovering itself, its heritage and resources. What is clear is that much of the most efficient poetry of our time is being written in or about the Southern mountains, with unprecedented diversity, artistry, freshness, and humanity. Here is a poetry of place and people, of history, on occasion sad, ceaselessly comic, a poetry of haunting voices, vision, music and story. This anthology is a showcase of one of the best poetry we have, from the place the music comes from.”–Robert Morgan