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Carolina Ghost Woods


Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets

59 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations


  Hardcover / 9780807125557 / March 2000

The daughter of sharecroppers and raised on a small farm near the Carolinas’ border, Judy Jordan in her first poetry collection transforms the harshness of her youth with the beauty, inventiveness, and musicality of language. Physical and emotional privation, familial violence, racial enmity, and recurrent death hauntCarolina Ghost Woods, which is set amid the lush landscape of the South and enfolds the wildness—inclement and consoling by turns—of nature and agriculture. Jordan, though, reveals compassion as well as passion for her subject matter and the people in her poems, creating lines of hope and chords of ecstatic energy out of despair. She offers a poetry of witness that does not sacrifice the aesthetics of language and rhythm: “Here I bring my sorrows / like the delft blue mussel shells, / fingertip tiny, most beautiful when strewn wide with loss.” 

Judy Jordan 's first book of poetry, Carolina Ghost Woods, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award, the Thomas Wolfe Literary Award, the Oscar Arnold Young Book Prize of the Poetry Council of North Carolina, and the Utah Book of the Year Award for Poetry. She teaches at Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale.

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