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What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets

edited by Jeff Worley foreword by Ed McClanahan

Availablecloth$35.00s 978-0-8131-2557-2
288 pages  Pubdate: 11/27/2009  5 x 8 x .875  25 photos

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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.

Jeff Worley is the author of three collections of poetry including The Only Time There Is, which won the Mid-List Press first-book competition in 1995, A Simple Human Motion, and Happy Hour at the Two Keys Tavern, which was named 2006 Kentucky Book of the Year in poetry. His poems have been published widely, and he won the Atlanta Review 2002 grand prize for the poem, “His Funeral.” Worley has served as editor of Odyssey magazine since 1997.

"A savory sampling of the very good poetry currently being written in Kentucky."--Paul Zimmer, author of Crossing to Sunlight Revisited

What Comes Down To Us establishes an important connection between person and place through the poets’ meticulously crafted words, which presents readers with vivid images that act as verbal echoes of life in the Commonwealth. -- UK News

The vibrant voices in What Comes Down to Us are—like each poet’s diction—bold, inventive, evocative and spot-on. -- Louisville Courier Journal

Accounting for Kentucky’s vibrant literary tradition, especially poetry, is like trying to analyze what makes a delicious burgoo. . . . Maybe our writerly tradition grows from the fact that Kentucky is a place where people know who they are and who their people were, a relatively homogeneous population with an accessible past that has both richness and a darker hue. -- Richard Taylor, former Kentucky poet laureate

Kentucky poets love their commonwealth, its natural beauty, its complex and troubled history, its family stories, as well as the strangeness that runs through all of them like a river. What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets brings together a range of poets, from Wendell Berry to Davis McCombs, to give us a regional treat that is, in truth, a national treasure. -- Andrew Hudgins, author of After the Last War: A Narrative and Ecstatic in the Poison: New Poems