Winner of the Haynes Award for Poetry
Taking as her touchstone poet Seamus Heaney's verse "We come back emptied, / to nourish and resist / the words of coming to rest," Kathryn Stripling Byer in these poems engages the contradictions inherent in the act of coming home. She explores the step-by-step leaving and returning—and finding "home" transformed because of the journey. Seamless lines of poetry weave together experiences as a daughter and a mother, the challenges of aging, the innate dignity of domestic life, and learning to let go while holding fast to what matters all the while. Byer gathers the trivial things that make up our lives and shows their meaningful connections, our movement toward discovery. In Coming to Rest, she expands upon the great themes of the poetic tradition.
from "Chicago Bound"
. . . Just a little while longer, we'll be on the ground where we'll hop a train south to the campus, a place I like better than this flimsy
carpet of clouds on which I cannot walk to you. I need green fields to do that, some tough city blocks, Kimbark, Ellis, East Hyde Park. Give me boulevard, avenue,
chemin, rue, strasse, calle, avenida, el camino, whatever you want to call it, Baby, if it's down there on earth where you are, it's Sweet Home. I'll take it.
A native of Georgia, Kathryn Stripling Byer has lived in the western North Carolina mountains since receiving a graduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied with Allen Tate, Robert Watson, and Fred Chappell. Her several books of poetry have received honors from the Associated Writing Programs, the Academy of American Poets, the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.
Found an Error? Tell us about it.