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Unread 06-05-2018, 02:34 PM
marly youmans's Avatar
marly youmans marly youmans is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Cooperstown, New York
Posts: 261
Default Recommending "Clinch River" and Dillard's Groundhog Press

In the fall, I reviewed a book of free-verse poems by Susan Hankla (her first full-length book) and now have followed it up with an interview that I think is unusually strong and interesting. "Clinch River" is highly unified, the poems all set in the realm of the author's childhood in a coal-mining region of Appalachia. In fact, it's a great example of a unified book with a tight focus and characters who appear and reappear. The poems rise out of the place and time of Hankla's childhood, though they are not what we would call confessional in nature.

The book is from Groundhog Press, the recently established but highly productive press of poet, writer, and teacher Richard Dillard, based in Roanoke, VA.

Take a look at the interview? And here's an article about the press in the same magazine: (It may seem a little confusing--Susan's sister, Cathryn Hankla, appears in that article....) Groundhog Poetry Press also has a facebook page:
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Unread 06-05-2018, 04:38 PM
Michael F's Avatar
Michael F Michael F is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: a foothill of the Catskills
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Thanks for this, Marly. What an intriguing notion, the fusion of Garcia Marquez and Appalachian poverty. I generally applaud the effort to humanize 'the other' -- wasn't Frost's and Faulkner's art (in part) an attempt to do just this? I wonder if magical realism works at cross-purposes to this goal? I don't know; I must read the book. And so, I enjoyed your conversation.


Last edited by Michael F; 06-05-2018 at 04:42 PM.
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Unread 06-05-2018, 06:17 PM
marly youmans's Avatar
marly youmans marly youmans is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Cooperstown, New York
Posts: 261


I'm glad you liked the interview... And if you do read the whole book, let me know what you think about it! Yes, it is definitely concerned with "the other." It's especially interesting to me because I went to high school in the North Carolina mountains with the great-grandchildren of Scots-Irish settlers. And I've been wanting Susan Hankla to have a full-length book for many years.

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