"While in conversation with excellent books that have come before it—Rita Dove's Thomas and Beulah, Ellen Voigt's Kyrie, and A. Van Jordan's Macnolia, for example—its framework, balance of thematic material, its scaffolding of form and elegantly shifting perspectives make it wholly original. Quite simply, a beautiful book."
—Natasha Trethewey, author of Native Guard
"Genoways has evoked history very well in this work. . . . The language here is spare, but it needn't be anything else. Throughout this book, Genoways is consistently able to convey large ideas and a range of feelings with an absolute minimum of words. It's a talent very few writers possess. . . . Honing this story down to its essentials without losing its essence could not have been easy, even if the author makes it look so."
Genoways's graceful formalism makes percussive music of a story marked by isolation and brutal difficulty. He manages a deft and plain-speaking rhyme that is in keeping with the tough lives his poems explore. The poems, which shift in frame from Anna's letters or Abe's diary to third-person verse that captures the characters' inner thoughts, bring the vitality of luminous detail and psychological depth to the arc of history.
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