Unthinkable: Selected Poems, 1976-2004

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Product Details

Price
$23.95  $22.03
Publisher
Red Hen Press
Publish Date
Pages
188
Dimensions
5.9 X 0.6 X 8.0 inches | 0.55 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781597090698
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

IRENE MCKINNEY is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and two West Virginia Commission on the Arts Fellowships in Poetry. She is the author of five books of poetry: THE GIRL WITH A STONE IN HER LAP (North Atlantic, 1976); THE WASPS AT THE BLUE HEXAGONS (Chapbook, Small Plot Press, 1984); QUICK FIRE AND SLOW FIRE (North Atlantic, 1988); SIX O'CLOCK MINE REPORT ( University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989), and VIVID COMPANION (West Virginia University Press, 2005). She edited the anthology BACKCOUNTRY: CONTEMPORARY WRITING IN WEST VIRGINIA, and has held fellowships at McDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Blue Mountain Center. She was appointed Poet Laureate of West Virginia in 1994. Recent poems are in AMERICAN VOICE, ARTFUL DODGE, ARTS & LETTERS, KENYON REVIEW, CONFLUENCE, SOUTH DAKOTA REVIEW, KESTREL, POETRY NORTHWEST, CLACKAMAS LITERARY REVIEW, GEORGIA REVIEW, WASHINGTON SQUARE, SHENANDOAH, SOUTHERN POETRY REVIEW, and others. She has been writer-in- residence at Western Washington University at Bellingham, the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, University of California at Santa Cruz, and Hamilton College. She does a weekly commentary on National Public Radio. Her poems have been featured three times on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, and on Verse Daily. She is Professor Emerita of West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Reviews

Irene McKinney's "Unthinkable, "represents three decades of direct, forceful, vernacular, work addressed to us, her readers and listeners, in tones of deep, honest intimacy. McKinney's poems embody the rhythms of speech, not written discourse, and her themes are timeless: connection with the land, with seasons and animals, with people, with loss and grief and joy. Like Wislawa Symborska or Ruth Stone, McKinney is an independent spirit powered by clarity and compassion. Grounded in Appalachian history, geography, custom, her poems draw on a wide range of poetic and spiritual traditions and tell truths we immediately recognize as universal. McKinney, a major American poet, is represented here in the breadth and depth of her achievement. "Unthinkable" is a revelation.-- Jayne Anne Phillips

Irene McKinney s "Unthinkable: Selected Poems, " is a daring, vital and wholly original collection that brings poems from all her previous books back into print. The geography of these poems is rural, and she evokes that world brilliantly and totally unsentimentally in poem after poem and in a prose piece, The Durrett Farm, West Virginia A Map. The emotional territory of McKinney s poems is otherness and its many guises. Hermit-like, she invents both poems and someone to hear them, from the dark house of the body where the bud of the voice, has a chance. It is Irene McKinney s great skill that, as we read these poems, we too become other, wherever we "think" we belong, and so experience through them the uneasy, holy strangeness of our brief time on earth.

-- Maggie Anderson
"

Irene McKinney s "Unthinkable, "represents three decades of direct, forceful, vernacular, work addressed to us, her readers and listeners, in tones of deep, honest intimacy. McKinney s poems embody the rhythms of speech, not written discourse, and her themes are timeless: connection with the land, with seasons and animals, with people, with loss and grief and joy. Like Wislawa Symborska or Ruth Stone, McKinney is an independent spirit powered by clarity and compassion. Grounded in Appalachian history, geography, custom, her poems draw on a wide range of poetic and spiritual traditions and tell truths we immediately recognize as universal. McKinney, a major American poet, is represented here in the breadth and depth of her achievement. "Unthinkable" is a revelation.-- Jayne Anne Phillips"

Irene McKinney s Unthinkable: Selected Poems, is a daring, vital and wholly original collection that brings poems from all her previous books back into print. The geography of these poems is rural, and she evokes that world brilliantly and totally unsentimentally in poem after poem and in a prose piece, The Durrett Farm, West Virginia A Map. The emotional territory of McKinney s poems is otherness and its many guises. Hermit-like, she invents both poems and someone to hear them, from the dark house of the body where the bud of the voice, has a chance. It is Irene McKinney s great skill that, as we read these poems, we too become other, wherever we think we belong, and so experience through them the uneasy, holy strangeness of our brief time on earth.

-- Maggie Anderson

"

Irene McKinney s Unthinkable, represents three decades of direct, forceful, vernacular, work addressed to us, her readers and listeners, in tones of deep, honest intimacy. McKinney s poems embody the rhythms of speech, not written discourse, and her themes are timeless: connection with the land, with seasons and animals, with people, with loss and grief and joy. Like Wislawa Symborska or Ruth Stone, McKinney is an independent spirit powered by clarity and compassion. Grounded in Appalachian history, geography, custom, her poems draw on a wide range of poetic and spiritual traditions and tell truths we immediately recognize as universal. McKinney, a major American poet, is represented here in the breadth and depth of her achievement. Unthinkable is a revelation.

-- Jayne Anne Phillips"