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)
andldquo;With Bellocqandrsquo;s Ophelia and Native Guard, Natasha Trethewey demonstrated an uncanny and urgent empathy for overlooked but crucial persons and events in the American past. Beyond Katrina extends that nuanced vision and compassion into multiple dimensions of the past, present, and future of this immeasurable national tragedy. It is a great interpretive pleasure and a significant emotional experience to follow her as she sifts the personal, historical, political, and geographic modes of experience to reveal what hurricane Katrina has meantandmdash;and can and must meanandmdash;for the Gulf Coast and the nation as a whole.andrdquo;andmdash;Anthony Walton, author of Mississippi: An American Journey
andquot;Within this book's quiet thoughts lies a powerful story of things long gone that will never come back. What is lost can only be captured by memory. And Trethewey's prose captures memory with poetic precision.andquot; andmdash;W. Ralph Eubanks, All Things Considered
andquot;By looking at the vast devastation with sober and poetic eyes, Trethewey has written a hauntingly beautiful book.andquot;andmdash;Publishers Weekly (starred review)
andquot;Heartfelt, righteous, humane, Beyond Katrina richly deserves to become one of the indispensable Katrina books.andquot;andmdash;Mobile Press-Register
andquot;Beyond Katrina is more about the stormandrsquo;s sociological and psychological results for the Coast and its people, North Gulfport in particular, than its physical damage. But itandrsquo;s seldom about generalizations. . . . This is a powerful, sometimes painful, book that gets underneath comfortable memoriesandmdash;wherever the reader lives.andquot;andmdash;Biloxi and South Mississippi Sun Herald
andquot;Beyond Katrina examines both the public and personal impact of the tragedy from the perspective of a writer uniquely qualified to undertake such a fraught and challenging project. She brings to the volume an insiderandrsquo;s knowledge and deep-felt affection for the place and its culture, but also an expatriateandrsquo;s sense of wary detachment. On a grander scale, the book is permeated with the sense that memory and the past can only exist as ruin. This book offers continuing evidence that Natasha Trethewey is one of our most indispensable poets, and tell us as well that she is a prose writer of the first order.andquot;andmdash;David Wojahn, author of Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982andndash;2004
andldquo;With a powerful sense of place and of her own biracial identity, [Tretheweyandrsquo;s] poetry refracts the stories, real and imagined, of solitary individuals of the American South that are also part of the composite story of the nationandmdash;a story that the United States and the South seem ready to hear. . . . Stories close the distances between us; stories become the means by which we at last see each other in the light of recognition. If this in fact is so, then the unfettered stories told by poets are the hope of democracy everywhere. Sacrifice, endurance, duty, work, loss, courage, hopeandmdash;these shimmer in Tretheweyandrsquo;s poetic imagination of remembrance and therein is their power to connect us.andrdquo;andmdash;Jamil Zainaldin, SaportaReport
Praise for Ted Kooser’s Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps
“Kooser is a poet by nature, and his essays have the generous feel of a man who’s rolled up his sleeves, pen in hand, for a long time, choosing words as an act of beauty, and knowing the small things of the world are of great import.”—Bloomsbury Review
“A quietly eloquent diary of a year in a small town in Nebraska. . . . This is a heartfelt plainspoken book about slowing down and appreciating the world around you.”—Janet Maslin on CBS News Sunday Morning
“Clear, generous, and imaginative, Local Wonders increases the sum of the world’s best goods.”—Patrice Koelsch, Speakeasy
“Through his eyes we learn to see, then appreciate, the beauty and grace in everyday miracles, the comfort and sanctity in local wonders.”—Booklist
"Kooser is a shining example of Nebraska as the "Good Life.""—Michael Rea, Schuyler Sun
“Like our best travel writers—Bryson, Heat Moon, Strayed, and Frazier come to mind—Dobson is good company: irreverent, funny, wise.”—Greg Martin, associate professor of English at the University of New Mexico and author of Mountain City and Stories for Boys
“Part travelogue, part social commentary, Dobson narrates a gritty and multidimensional tale, even as his descriptions of the landscape and the river are as warm as the summer sun. It was a journey I didnt want to end.”—Sandra Moran, anthropologist and award-winning author of Letters Never Sent and Nudge
“This is a work of strength and beauty, of care and courage. Patrick Dobsons voyage down the length of the Missouri River is not simply one of self-discovery, but a journey that allows the reader to look inward as well. . . . We are fortunate to be able to share in his odyssey of exuberance and discovery.”—Alan Boye, author of Just Walking the Hills of Vermont and Sustainable Compromises
"[Kooser's] poems and this book of prose have arrived at just the right time, when we all need the reminder to lay down our phones, tablets and laptops-whatever keeps us from looking out the window or meeting the eyes of a passerby-and notice
the actual world."—James Crews, Basalt
A collection of essays, poems, and letters, chronicling the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
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.
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.
Beyond Katrina is poet Natasha Tretheweyandrsquo;s very personal profile of her natal Mississippi Gulf Coast and of the people there whose lives were forever changed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
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 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. In this new edition, Trethewey looks back on the ten years that have passed since Katrina in a new epilogue, outlining progress that has been made and the challenges that still exist.
A Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication.
About the Author
Ted Kooser, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and former U.S. poet laureate, is Presidential Professor of the University of Nebraska. He is the author of twelve books of poetry, including The Blizzard Voices (Nebraska, 2006) and Valentines (Nebraska, 2008) and several books of prose, including The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets, Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps, and Lights on a Ground of Darkness: An Evocation of a Place and Time, all available in Bison Books editions.
Table of Contents
Theories of Time and Space