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What Comes Down to Us

What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets

Edited by Jeff Worley
Foreword by Ed McClanahan
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    What Comes Down to Us
    Book Description:

    What Comes Down To Us features twenty-five of Kentucky's most accomplished contemporary poets. Together they serve to illustrate the diversity and richness of poetry being written today in the Commonwealth. The poems were collected by Jeff Worley, a poet who has lived in Kentucky for more than two decades. Although the subject matter of the poems transcends the state's borders, the collection communicates a strong sense of Kentucky as a place. Worley's introduction places contemporary Kentucky poetry in the context of the state's rich literary tradition, and the poet biographies include their reflections and, often, their poetic approach and technique.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-7351-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Ed McClanahan

    My friend and fellow Kentuckian Wendell Berry spent part of the 1968–1969 school year teaching creative writing at Stanford University, in the same department in which I was, at the time, clinging like a burdock stick-tight to an untenured lectureship that, if I’d managed to hang onto it, would have transplanted me forever in the meager, hostile soil of California, where I’d have been approximately as indigenous as an artichoke in a Kentucky tobacco patch.

    In April 1970, about a year after Wendell had returned to his farm in his native Henry County, Kentucky, he wrote me a letter,...

    (pp. 1-8)

    In corresponding with a New York literary agent several years ago, Kentucky poet James Baker Hall found this question scrawled across the bottom of a letter: “How come there are so many good writers working now in Kentucky?” The literary agent might have been wondering: Is it something in the water? Something in the bourbon?

    It’s a good question, which I posed to two Kentucky-born poets.

    Eastern Kentucky writer George Ella Lyon believes that the answer might lie in Kentucky’s historical and geographical sense of place. “It seems to me a lot of forces intersect in Kentucky. East and west,...

  5. WENDELL Berry b. 1934
    (pp. 9-30)
    WENDELL Berry
  6. JAMES Baker Hall 1935–2009
    (pp. 31-44)
    JAMES Baker Hall
  7. JANE Gentry b. 1941
    (pp. 45-54)
    JANE Gentry
  8. RICHARD Taylor b. 1941
    (pp. 55-65)
    RICHARD Taylor
  9. JOE Survant b. 1942
    (pp. 66-80)
    JOE Survant
  10. JONATHAN Greene b. 1943
    (pp. 81-87)
    JONATHAN Greene
  11. VIVIAN Shipley b. 1943
    (pp. 88-96)
    VIVIAN Shipley
  12. PHILIP St. Clair b. 1944
    (pp. 97-105)
    PHILIP St. Clair
  13. JEFF Worley b. 1947
    (pp. 106-116)
    JEFF Worley
  14. JEFFREY Skinner b. 1948
    (pp. 117-126)
    JEFFREY Skinner
  15. GEORGE ELLA Lyon b. 1949
    (pp. 127-135)
  16. LEATHA Kendrick b. 1949
    (pp. 136-144)
    LEATHA Kendrick
  17. MAX Garland b. 1950
    (pp. 145-153)
    MAX Garland
  18. MARCIA Hurlow b. 1952
    (pp. 154-163)
    MARCIA Hurlow
  19. FREDERICK Smock b. 1954
    (pp. 164-170)
  20. ALEDA Shirley 1955–2008
    (pp. 171-180)
    ALEDA Shirley
  21. SARAH Gorham b. 1956
    (pp. 181-188)
    SARAH Gorham
  22. TONY Crunk b. 1956
    (pp. 189-197)
    TONY Crunk
  23. NIKKY Finney b. 1957
    (pp. 198-211)
    NIKKY Finney
  24. DON Boes b. 1958
    (pp. 212-218)
    DON Boes
  25. KATHLEEN Driskell b. 1959
    (pp. 219-228)
    KATHLEEN Driskell
  26. FRANK X Walker b. 1962
    (pp. 229-239)
    FRANK X Walker
  27. LYNNELL Edwards b. 1965
    (pp. 240-247)
    LYNNELL Edwards
  28. MAURICE Manning b. 1966
    (pp. 248-254)
    MAURICE Manning
  29. DAVIS McCombs b. 1969
    (pp. 255-260)
    DAVIS McCombs
    (pp. 261-264)
    (pp. 265-266)
    (pp. 267-274)