Poet Michael McFee has chosen from eight to twenty poems by each of fifteen poets. There is a refreshing diversity in the voices, from James Applewhite's down east tobacco farmer to Gerald Barrax's passionate urban man to Kathryn Stripling Byer's isolated mountain woman. The humor ranges from Maya Angelou's serious wit to Jonathan Williams's verbal improvisations. And there is a healthy variety in form and tone, from A. R. Ammons's free verse ruminations to Fred Chappell's vigorous, witty narratives in traditional forms.
But there is also a fundamental unity to these poets. They are all North Carolina writers, who were born in or have long lived in the state, and whose verbal consciousness has been shaped by the very nature of the place. Most importantly, they are all poets we can read with appreciation and great pleasure.
contributors Betty Adcock A. R. Ammons Maya Angelou James Applewhite Gerald Barrax Kathryn Stripling Byer Fred Chappell William Harmon Susan Ludvigson Michael McFee Heather Ross Miller Robert Morgan Reynolds Price James Seay Jonathan Williams
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As McFee observes in the introduction, most anthologies tend to favor variety rather than depth-``bouquets rather than whole fields of flowers.'' By selecting the work of only 15 contemporary North CaNov 21 1994 | Read Full Review of The Language They Speak Is Th...