Appalachian Studies
Poems by Anne Shelby
   

Appalachian Studies           Appalachia

  REVIEW 1

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ISBN 1893239527   $15.00 


Wind Publications
600 Overbrook Dr
Nicholsville, KY 40356


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These poems are beautiful and brave and Anne is brilliant . . . this is the best use of felled trees since the rocking chair.  Can't wait to use this book in my classrooms.
         --- Frank X Walker

Anne Shelby grabs you with the first poem in Appalachian Studies, her stunning new collection of poetry, and drags you body and soul into her beautiful, haunted, and hurtful mountain world and hol
ds you enthralled---even after you've read the last word.  When you hear people lament the decline and death of poetry in our time, tell them to read Anne Shelby's superb personalized tour of her Kentucky mountain world where not even the dead are dead. . . . Do not be put off by her analytical-sounding title. Indeed, in her poem of the same title she contrasts the gobbledygook of academic and government "studies" of Appalachia with the succinct eloquence of her authentic mountain voice.
          --- Wade Hall

Anne Shelby is a singer. Her pure, plaintive contralto can make a mountain ballad yearn with "everything that ever happened, and a heap of things that didn't." Those last words are Shelby's, from her new poetry collection, Appalachian Studies. . . . In an address to fellow poet Michael McFee about his work, Shelby wishes "that I might write something sometime half so beautiful and brave." She has. Come, listen to Anne sing.
         --- Dana Wildsmith

First of all, Anne Shelby is the funniest poet I know. Her humor is never at anyone's expense (except maybe her own) but her poems surely make us laugh as she hits the bullseye---again and again---on all things Appalachian. Read "Heart of the World" and if that doesn't make you want to roll on the floor as you consider the nature of home and community---warts and all---well . . .  Second of all, every one of these poems is smart. Consider the title poem "Appalachian Studies" which pokes fun at academics while revealing the reality of environmental degradation. Or "Transportation in Appalachia" which artfully tells the history of the region's in-and-out migration or the skillful deconstruction of romanticized Appalachia in "Other Side of Rock Creek" ("There's been snakes in the garden right along" the narrator declares). . . .  Shelby also knows how to ponder the sweet-terrible sadness of losing our parents and the old people in our communities. In poems such as "Last Words," "A Funny Feeling" ("You don't know a thing till you've lost your mother") and "Family Album" the cycle of life is explored with lyrical tenderness. These are poems for country people, feminists, writers, reformers, academics, town people, neighbors and kin. These are poems for all of us, living and dead.
           --- Kate Black
   

About Anne Shelby---

In addition to poetry, Anne Shelby is the author of newspaper columns, plays, essays, and children’s books.

Can A Democrat Get Into Heaven? Politics, Religion, and Other Things You Ain’t Supposed To Talk About (Motes Books, 2006) brings together Shelby’s popular columns, which have appeared over a number of years in The Lexington Herald-Leader and other Kentucky newspapers.

Her plays, The Lone Pilgrim: Songs and Stories of Aunt Molly Jackson, and The Adventures of Molly Whuppie, based on Eastern Kentucky folk tales, and Passing Through the Garden: The Work of Belinda Mason have been widely produced. Her essays and fiction are included in the University Press of Kentucky collections Back Talk: Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes, Bloodroot: Appalachian Women Writers’ Reflections on Place, Kentucky Women, and A Kentucky Christmas. She has published five books for children: Potluck, The Someday House, What To Do About Pollution, Homeplace, a School Library Journal Best Book, and We Keep A Store, an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists.