In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Maggie Messitt has an essay responding to our edition of Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead. She writes: ”The Book of the Dead is documentary poetry . . . at its most effective. The collection builds a narrative that carries through each poem, leading us into a disaster impossible to shake, illustrating the fight for accountability, and exposing the awful truth.”
Nancy Abrams’s The Climb from Salt Lick receives two major pieces of media attention. Booklist calls it “a reverse Hillbilly Elegy, the story of a young woman who flummoxes her family back in St. Louis by settling in remote, rural West Virginia, giving us a glimpse into hardscrabble living, small-town characters, and a slice of history.” And Chicago Reader says the author “paints a vivid picture of what it was like to make her way in an unfamiliar territory during a turbulent time.” Abrams’s photographs, including some from the book, are on exhibit at the Rare Nest Gallery in Chicago.
Marked, Unmarked, Remembered—a book that “seeks to shed light on events that have been left out of the national story, even as these issues continue to define political struggles today”—is also featured in Chicago Reader, in conjunction with the authors’ appearance at the Chicago Humanities Festival.
The West Virginia Observer reviews Laura Leigh Morris’s Jaws of Life alongside Elizabeth Catte’s What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia, noting “an essay and a short story collection respectively cast Appalachia and West Virginia in a richer light.”
The Albany Times-Union profiles 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym: Boxing and Manhood in Appalachia and the gym in Cowen, West Virginia, run by the author’s father. “Community—not boxing—was always the heart of the training program.”
Anthony Bourdain’s West Virginia episode of Parts Unknown features a fascinating set of contextualizing essays on the program’s website, including a history of the pepperoni roll by Candace Nelson, author of our The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll, and a West Virginia reading list with our own Pinnick Kinnick Hill, about Spanish immigrants to Harrison County.
Don’t miss authors Travis Stimeling, Laura Leigh Morris, Todd Snyder, and Nancy Abrams on tour this summer. Details are available on our calendar.