New on The Bookshelf
Breath & Shadow
In The Beauty of Silence, Glenda Barrett reveals the most authentic Appalachian voice to rise out of the southern mountains in years. “The Gist of the Matter,” invites us in, as she sits at a table with her kinfolks, peeling and eating an apple. The reader listens as this wise family elder recounts the then and now of her mountain heritage. In her poem, Sorting it Out, she affirms, “In hindsight, my best lessons were learned not in good times, but in deepest sorrow. I learned pain would not destroy me.” Her hope is to share specific truths. This nugget of wisdom emerges from, Serenity, “I’ve learned the comfort and peace found in solitude.” I chose, The Fork of the River, as my favorite. “My best lessons have been learned not in chaos, but in places of silence. Like the Cherokee before me, I seek direction in the quietness of the morning."
How do you say “Telling a depressed person to cheer up is like telling a quadriplegic to stand” and still give hope for depression? As a poet, the author captures what is so hard to communicate: the harsh breadth and depth of how depression feels, so that the unafflicted can offer useful assistance. And the verses tell a story of recovery that sings hope and promise.
Marshall Merrick, called Book, is just another poor kid living on the unforgiving shores of the Kentucky River, born to a legacy of violence and raised to sacrifice his ambitions on the altar of his Appalachian pride. But his lust for knowledge and a dangerous love fuel his hope for something more, a life far from the river and its poison. It's this hope, slim as a shadow and unrelenting as the summer sun, that leads him into waters more treacherous than he has ever braved, and a choice that threatens to drown everything he loves.
Part of our mission at Breath and Shadow is to promote the work of writers with disabilities. In this section, we highlight a few titles written by people who have contributed work to our journal.