Vein of Stone (Sarah McCartt-Jackson) is our first offering of Appalachian poetry. This chapbook of poems sifts through the life of a family in coal country, primarily via a series of letters from three voices. It calls to mind land full of limestone and sweet magnolia blossoms along a buffalo trace. She captured our ears and minds with her weaving of culture and language nestled in with little bits of folklore—she reaches down again and again to mine up the story of this family—what’s left of them in absence of each other—and she shows us how they’re marked like a body taking on coal dust with each breath. (Porkbelly Press, 2014) // available from our shop
“I Was Listening” (collagraph & monotype, 15 x 22 inches) by Kathleen Piercefield. Piercefield is a Kentucky-based printmaker and fine artist. www.kpiercefield.com
Excerpt from “Kentucky Rose”
Five days and a riverside away from his wife Ora, Eli knows the rain
by whether or not his ankles slap through coalwater,
whether the sludgy drip of soil-seep oils his palm.
And when the earthhush of that shaft struggles to slip from the blue
shale stitched above the carbon, the sound becomes the rasp
of a carpenter bee’s mandibles boring tunnels
into the porchwood to remove its yellow poplar
grain by grain, gram by spittled gram.
About the Poet
Recently chosen as artist-in-residence for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for its 2014-2015 season, Kentucky poet Sarah McCartt-Jackson has spent decades developing her craft, dedicating her art to exploring the natural and cultural world that encompasses all who share in planet life. Through poetry, she endeavors to inspire others to connect, reflect, meditate, and act for the future of our ecosystems of all sizes: valley, prairie, forest, fern. As a poet, naturalist, and folklorist, McCartt-Jackson interprets scapes (landscape, homescape, culturescape) in both traditional and contemporary ways. Her poetry allows for enriched understanding for ideas to feather into a central locus, exploring the diversity of biological and cultural life and profound experience rooted in sanctuary and wilderness. Her work has been published by and received honors from the Academy of American Poets, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Copper Nickel, Indiana Review, Journal of American Folklore, Tidal Basin Review, and others.
Special edition cover
Special edition (magnolia blossom): A selection of three cover stocks (in kraft brown, pale blue, and black) feature two-color screen prints. This is a run of 75 hand-numbered, handbound copies.
Printmakers: Nicci Mechler & Jonathan Rountree.
Some of the poems from this chapbook originally appeared in: The Fourth River, Friends of Acadia Journal, Indiana Review, Redheaded Stepchild, and Sugared Water.
The end-papers of this chapbook are imported, hand-marbled papers.
Excerpt from another poem:
Give me the rope
that you tied around my finger, wild grapevine warped into a loop. Give
me your face, your hands cupping my breasts, your shoes filled with your mud
and feet. Give us your crooked back aching, your owl-lidded eyes, your breath
in our ears, our handplanes, our spindles, our hums, our ladles, and we will give you back
your money, your ring, your footprints in the corn, your tart apples picked
from your tree that make your mouth and tongue water.
books from other presses
Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River (Casey Shay Press, 2015)