Carolina Ghost Woods: Poems

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wintry in tone, titles and topics--"Ice molds my life" as one poem puts it--Jordan's debut scours the wooded terrain for metaphors of death ("It's dirt and dust after all") and trolls her family history for murders, suicides, threats and promises of the end. The governing influence here is Charles Wright, whose learned, long-lined, colloquial mysticism speaks through lines like "The dead stow my name in the slack of their mouths," or "the dead have me in their pocket," yet places such possessions in specific situations, as "When Hitchhiking into West Virginia" or when stuck in "the all-night deli." The book's wanderings come as a result of mourning for a variety of figures: the poet's grandmother, other relatives, friends, neighbors violently dead. As poems answer each other and develop the theme, the dead become the poet's lost form and lost work--particularly the mother. When the speaker watches toads possessing "faith in their wholeness and desire," she knows what she lacks. Alliteration, internal rhyme and other resources of sound are on impressive display throughout the book, which won last year's Walt Whitman award from the Academy of American Poets, but the whole can't quite lift grief out the specific grievings. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
It is hardly surprising that Jordan's Carolina Ghost Woods won the 1999 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets and the National Book Critics Circle Award, for the energy in this book is palpable and the language so inventive and so surprising as to remind you what poetry is all about. The poet has taken a hard look at her life as a sharecropper's daughter in the Carolinas and delivered something bolder and richer than one could ever have imagined. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807125564
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Pages: 59
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy Jordan 's poems have appeared in Poetry, Crossroads, and other journals and will be included in the upcoming anthology American Poetry: Next Generation. She has been the recipient of a Henry Hoyns Fellowship, a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship, and the first-place prize in the Western Humanities Review's Utah Writers Competition. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Judy Jordan 's poems have appeared in Poetry, Crossroads, and other journals and will be included in the upcoming anthology American Poetry: Next Generation. She has been the recipient of a Henry Hoyns Fellowship, a Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship, and the first-place prize in the Western Humanities Review's Utah Writers Competition. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2002

    The critics love this book for a reason!

    This is an excellent book to whet one's appetite for poetry. Beautiful words drip from the pages while its imagery startles you into reassessing the action in the poems. It is heartrending, colorful, and very rewarding to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2000

    Expansive, soul searching, and down-right gritty

    Something that disapoints me about a lot of contemporary poetry is that it seems to be spouted out very quickly. But not Carolina Ghost Woods. Jordan obviously spent a great deal of time searching her life and soul and then putting that life on paper with extraordinary wordchoices, imagery, and metaphor. I find it amazing that she is able to take such harsh subject matter and with the use of language and rhythm and metaphor put it before the reader with such beauty. This writer, her work and her words, have touched me deeply.

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