Driving with the Dead
Publication Year: 2014
Appalachia is no stranger to loss. The region suffers regular ecological devastation wrought by strip mining, fracking, and deforestation as well as personal tragedy brought on by enduring poverty and drug addiction. In Driving with the Dead, Appalachian poet, teacher, and artist Jane Hicks weaves an earnest and impassioned elegy for an imperiled yet doggedly optimistic people and place. Exploring the roles that war, environment, culture, and violence play in Appalachian society, the hard-hitting collection is visceral and unflinchingly honest, mourning a land and people devastated by economic hardship, farm foreclosures, and mountaintop removal.
With empathy and a voice of experience, Hicks offers readers a poignant collection of poems that addresses themes of grief and death while also illustrating the beauty, grace, and resilience of the Appalachian people. Invoking personal memories, she explores how the loss of physical landscape has also devastated the region's psychological landscape.
Graphic, bold, and heartfelt, Driving with the Dead is an honest and compelling call to arms. Hicks laments the irreplaceable treasures that we have lost but also offers wisdom for healing and reconciliation.
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Series: Kentucky Voices
Praise, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
George Ella Lyon
The title of Jane Hicks’s second collection puts you on notice that
you’re about to read a book about loss. What it doesn’t tell, however,
is what distinguishes these poems: the lessons and wisdom the
poet reckons from that loss.
Hicks clearly declares her purpose in “A Poet’s Work”: “the naming of what matters.” Hers is not art for art’s sake. She speaks...
A Transplant Leaves Minnesota, 1973
The Ryman Auditorium, 1965
Poor Valley Pilgrims
North Fork of the Holston, 1962
Black Mountain Breakdown
The Color of Loss
Drive by Slowly
Jones and Thomason, General Merchandise
My Second-Grade Teacher Reads Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Grace of Risen Dough
My Grandmother Escapes
The Big Beautiful
Commencement Day, 2005
A Poet's Work
James Still Leaves Wolfpen
Driving with the Dead
The author gratefully acknowledges the publishers of the following journals, in which some of these poems previously appeared, sometimes in earlier forms:
A! Magazine (“Bluegrass Festival,” “Dismissal,” “Jones and Thomason, General Merchandise,” “Walking Boundaries,” “What...