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Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Synopses & Reviews
Beyond Katrina is poet Natasha Tretheweyandrsquo;s very personal profile of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and of the people there whose lives were forever changed by hurricane Katrina.
Trethewey spent her childhood in Gulfport, where much of her motherandrsquo;s extended family, including her younger brother, still lives. As she worked to understand the devastation that followed the hurricane, Trethewey found inspiration in Robert Penn Warrenandrsquo;s book Segregation: The Inner Conflict in the South, in which he spoke with southerners about race in the wake of the Brown decision, capturing an event of wide impact from multiple points of view. Weaving her own memories with the experiences of family, friends, and neighbors, Trethewey traces the erosion of local culture and the rising economic dependence on tourism and casinos. She chronicles decades of wetland development that exacerbated the destruction and portrays a Gulf Coast whose citizensandmdash;particularly African Americansandmdash;were on the margins of American life well before the storm hit. Most poignantly, Trethewey illustrates the destruction of the hurricane through the story of her brotherandrsquo;s efforts to recover what he lost and his subsequent incarceration.
Renowned for writing about the idea of home, Tretheweyandrsquo;s attempt to understand and document the damage to Gulfport started as a series of lectures at the University of Virginia that were subsequently published as essays in the Virginia Quarterly Review. For Beyond Katrina, Trethewey has expanded this work into a narrative that incorporates personal letters, poems, and photographs, offering a moving meditation on the love she holds for her childhood home.
A Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication.
"Trethewey opens her powerful meditation with 'You can get there from here, though there's no going home,' a line taken from her Pulitzer Prize-winning 2007 book, Native Guard. When she wrote that line she was 'thinking figuratively' about the passage of time; now 'the poem had become quite literal.' Trethewey combines poetry, prose, and correspondence to paint a poignant picture of the effects of Katrina on her family and on the black community in which she grew up. She writes of her 92-year-old grandmother who didn't eat for weeks after she was evacuated from her home. Disoriented, she moved to Atlanta to live with the author before entering the nursing home where she would soon die. Trethewey also relates the sad story of her brother, Joe. When some homes he owned were destroyed in the flood, he took what odd jobs he could get on the coast before eventually transporting cocaine for an acquaintance. He was caught and sentenced to 15 years in prison. By looking at the vast devastation with sober and poetic eyes, Trethewey has written a hauntingly beautiful book. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
A collection of essays, poems, and letters, chronicling the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Tired of an unfulfilling life in Kansas City, Missouri, Patrick Dobson left his job and set off on foot across the Great Plains. After two and a half months, 1,450 miles, and numerous encounters with the people of the heartland, Dobson arrived in Helena, Montana. He then set a canoe on the Missouri and asked the river to carry him safely back to Kansas City, hoping this enigmatic watercourse would help reconnect him with his life.
In Canoeing the Great Plains, Dobson recounts his journey on the Missouri, the countrys longest river. Dobson, a novice canoeist when he begins his trip, faces the Missouri at a time of dangerous flooding and must learn to trust himself to the powerful flows of the river and its stark and serenely beautiful countryside. He meets a cast of characters along the river who assist him both with the mundane tasks of canoeing—portaging around dams and reservoirs and finding campsites—and with his own personal transformation. Mishaps, mistakes, and misadventures plague his trip, but over time the river shifts from being a frightening adversary to a welcome companion.
As the miles float by and the distinctions blur between himself and what he formerly called nature, Dobson comes to grips with his past, his fears, and his life beyond the river.
Ted Kooser sees a writers workbooks as the stepping-stones on which a poet makes his way across the stream of experience toward a poem. Because those wobbly stones are only inches above the quotidian rush, whats jotted there has an immediacy that is intimate and close to life.
Kooser, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a former U.S. poet laureate, has filled scores of workbooks. The Wheeling Year offers a sequence of contemplative prose observations about nature, place, and time arranged according to the calendar year.
Written by one of Americas most beloved poets, this book is published in the year in which Kooser turns seventy-five, with sixty years of workbooks stretching behind him.
About the Author
Natasha Trethewey is the Poet Laureate of the United States, 2012andndash;2013. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Domestic Work, Bellocqandrsquo;s Ophelia, and Native Guard, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She also holds the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Emory University.
Table of Contents
Theories of Time and Space
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