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From the Publisher
"The Coal Life is not a book about nervous breakdowns, addictions, madness, taboos, or debauchery, and in this sense a quote from John Updike comes to mind: 'I like middles. It is in middles that extremes clash, where ambiguity restlessly rules.' Vines -- within neat stanzas and muscular, loaded lines -- does a superb job of situating his poems in this restless, ambiguous middle zone where most of us live our lives."
--Alex M. Frankel in The Antioch Review, Fall 2012
"This week I've returned to The Coal Life, the 2012 debut collection from Birmingham Poetry Review editor Adam Vines. And it's still staggeringly good. Vines has this way of delivering a deliciously playful line with a face so straight you feel like a fool for thinking words could work any other way. Check out 'River Politics' over at Poetry for a prime example, and then spring for the full set."
--Samuel Fox, Paris Review