The Language They Speak Is Things to Eat by Michael McFee
Poems By Fifteen Contemporary North Carolina Poets

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North Carolina is well known for its fiction writers, but the state is also home to a number of the nation's best poets. In the past few decades, these poets have produced memorable work and received numerous honors. A companion to the contemporary North Carolina fiction anthology The Rough Road Home (1992), this book provides a substantial sampling of their recent bounty.

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


About Michael McFee

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Michael McFee has published six books of poems, including Earthly and Colander, and is editor of This Is Where We Live: Short Stories by 25 Contemporary North Carolina Writers. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Published November 18, 1994 by The University of North Carolina Press. 296 pages
Genres: Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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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 Ca

Nov 21 1994 | Read Full Review of The Language They Speak Is Th...

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