Taking Flight in 2019 . . .
Visitations (summer 2019)
If your soul is on a quest to balance the myriad minutia of life in the 21st century, then poet Jenny Bates’ third collection, Visitations, is a must read. Bates’ answers lie in the forest surrounding her home where by night the master vocals of the Barred Owl always call her to a portal of growth. By day, the Red Shouldered Hawk beckons to complete the summons, “Observe.” Whether plant or animal, wild or domesticated, Bates’ communion with all that is not human, leads to a forgotten realm of holistic knowledge. Through the pages of this idiomatic, metaphysical collection, a gentle relationship between the mirror selves of naturalism and fantasy charm the unfeigned reader.
Jenny Bates, born and raised in Michigan, resides as poet in the foothills of North Carolina. She is a member of Winston-Salem Writers and NC Poetry Society. She has two published books, Opening Doors: an equilog of poetry about Donkeys (Lulu Publishing, Raleigh, NC) and Coyote with Coffee, a single poem fine craft volume (Catbird on the Yadkin Press, Tobaccoville, NC). Both books reside in the collections of Libraries and Universities (Vanderbilt and the University of Vermont) in the United States and England. Her work has also been published in Flying South, Winston-Salem Writers premier literary work. She is a consecutive contributing poet in the Winston-Salem Writers series Poetry in Plain Sight and in 2017 she was a top 10 Finalist in the Press 53 Single Poem Contest.
WAHEE NECK (summer 2019)
Every child is a hapless carrier of the epic reverberating within family generations. The boundaries of childhood become mutable, conflating the overheard with the lived, the past with the present. WAHEE NECK, Janet Joyner’s newest collection, moves like consciousness itself; outward from the individual, to the tribe, the species, and their habitats. Hers is a distinctly southern voice. And in this, her third volume, the poet guides the reader from the leaky borders of childhood toward an invasion of human and global disruptions. In her final section, Joyner contemplates the horrible possibility of annihilation of the planet. Throughout WAHEE NECK, Janet Joyner’s lyrical language challenges set patterns of sound displayed in poems of both free and more formal verse; in selections short and pithy, as well as those more lengthy and narrative.
A must read for the discerning.
Janet Joyner is a native of South Carolina’s Pee Dee region and belongs, perhaps, to the last generation before mechanized farming, a time when the work songs of harvesting tobacco were richly vowelled by the Gullah and GeeChee women who did the work. In the fields. In the kitchens. In the nurseries. Her poetry sings with these cadences. Her themes, still rooted deeply to the land, its seasons, its creatures, ring with more modern and wider dichotomies which a life-time of studying and teaching French literature has enriched.
Between Stones (summer 2019)
Donna Love Wallace’s debut poetry chapbook, Between Stones, takes the reader on a journey 1 in 8 women will experience sometime in their lifetime: invasive breast cancer. With candor and a full range of emotion, Wallace navigates her way through disparate places and the people that occupy them: the biopsy suite, the grocery store, her closet and a tattoo parlor 350 miles from home. With sparse eloquence and artisanal attention to her craft, Donna Love Wallace is a poet’s poet. Readers of Between Stones will cry, laugh and celebrate a voice that chooses stoic analysis over panic; positivity in the face of pain and uncertainty; and resolute courage over defeat. Whether or not invasive breast cancer has touched your life, great inspiration lines these pages.
Donna Love Wallace of Lewisville, North Carolina is currently director of Poetry In Plain Sight, a Winston Salem Writers’ state-wide initiative placing poetry in public spaces. Her poetry appears in Flying South, Kakalak, The Paddock Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review and Plainsongs. A cancer “thriver,” former nurse and seminarian, she hikes and bicycles through the foothills and vineyards surrounding her home. Between Stones (Hermit Feathers Press, forthcoming 2019) will be her first poetry chapbook.