Driving with the Dead

Driving with the Dead: Poems

Jane Hicks
Foreword by George Ella Lyon
Series: Kentucky Voices
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 80
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  • Book Info
    Driving with the Dead
    Book Description:

    Appalachia is no stranger to loss. The region suffers regular ecological devastation wrought by strip mining, fracking, and deforestation as well as personal tragedy brought on by enduring poverty and drug addiction. In Driving with the Dead, Appalachian poet, teacher, and artist Jane Hicks weaves an earnest and impassioned elegy for an imperiled yet doggedly optimistic people and place. Exploring the roles that war, environment, culture, and violence play in Appalachian society, the hard-hitting collection is visceral and unflinchingly honest, mourning a land and people devastated by economic hardship, farm foreclosures, and mountaintop removal.

    With empathy and a voice of experience, Hicks offers readers a poignant collection of poems that addresses themes of grief and death while also illustrating the beauty, grace, and resilience of the Appalachian people. Invoking personal memories, she explores how the loss of physical landscape has also devastated the region's psychological landscape.

    Graphic, bold, and heartfelt, Driving with the Dead is an honest and compelling call to arms. Hicks laments the irreplaceable treasures that we have lost but also offers wisdom for healing and reconciliation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4557-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xi-2)
    George Ella Lyon

    The title of Jane Hicks’s second collection puts you on notice that you’re about to read a book about loss. What it doesn’t tell, however, is what distinguishes these poems: the lessons and wisdom the poet reckons from that loss.

    Hicks clearly declares her purpose in “A Poet’s Work”: “the naming of what matters.” Hers is not art for art’s sake. She speaks out of the pain of the moment—meth labs, farm foreclosures, mountains devastated, mothers leaving for war. She also speaks against the greed at its root.

    Fiercely set in Appalachia, these poems claim personal and cultural history,...

  4. Summer Rain
    (pp. 3-4)
  5. What Matters
    (pp. 5-5)
  6. Walking Boundaries
    (pp. 6-6)
  7. A Transplant Leaves Minnesota, 1973
    (pp. 7-7)
  8. The Ryman Auditorium, 1965
    (pp. 8-8)
  9. Poor Valley Pilgrims
    (pp. 11-11)
  10. Revelation
    (pp. 12-12)
  11. Draft Lottery
    (pp. 13-14)
  12. North Fork of the Holston, 1962
    (pp. 15-16)
  13. Black Mountain Breakdown
    (pp. 17-17)
  14. The Color of Loss
    (pp. 18-18)
  15. Expatriate
    (pp. 19-20)
  16. Lietuva (Lithuania)
    (pp. 21-21)
  17. Kindergarten
    (pp. 22-22)
  18. Color
    (pp. 23-25)
  19. Leavings
    (pp. 26-26)
  20. Drive by Slowly
    (pp. 27-27)
  21. Glitter
    (pp. 28-28)
  22. Jones and Thomason, General Merchandise
    (pp. 29-31)
  23. My Second-Grade Teacher Reads Gerard Manley Hopkins
    (pp. 32-32)
  24. Close Order
    (pp. 33-36)
  25. The Missionary
    (pp. 37-38)
  26. The Grace of Risen Dough
    (pp. 39-40)
  27. Domestic Arts
    (pp. 41-41)
  28. My Grandmother Escapes
    (pp. 42-42)
  29. New Testament
    (pp. 43-43)
  30. Dismissal
    (pp. 44-44)
  31. Mordant
    (pp. 45-46)
  32. Cousins
    (pp. 47-47)
  33. Tonic
    (pp. 48-48)
  34. The Big Beautiful
    (pp. 49-50)
  35. Commencement Day, 2005
    (pp. 51-51)
  36. A Poet’s Work
    (pp. 52-53)
  37. James Still Leaves Wolfpen
    (pp. 54-54)
  38. Driving with the Dead
    (pp. 55-56)
  39. Dust
    (pp. 57-57)
  40. Hunkering Down
    (pp. 58-58)
  41. Bluegrass Festival
    (pp. 59-60)
  42. Notes
    (pp. 61-62)
  43. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 63-64)
  44. Index of First Lines
    (pp. 65-66)
  45. Kentucky Voices
    (pp. 67-70)