Synopses & Reviews
Peach State has its origins in Atlanta, Georgia, the author’s hometown and an emblematic city of the New South, a name that reflects the American region’s invigoration in recent decades by immigration and a spirit of reinvention. Focused mainly on food and cooking, these poems explore the city’s transformation from the mid-twentieth century to today, as seen and shaped by Chinese Americans. The poems are set in restaurants, home kitchens, grocery stores, and the houses of friends and neighbors. Often employing forms — sonnet, villanelle, sestina, palindrome, ghazal, rhymed stanzas — they also mirror the constant negotiation with tradition that marks both immigrant and Southern experience.
"Peach State is sly, smart and accessible, formally sophisticated and moving. It’s a beautiful, and thought-provoking meditation on food, race, and identity." Paisley Rekdal
"Adrienne Su is one of our best and most readable poets. In her latest book, she offers a rich array of cultural signifiers. With roots in China, but from the American South, she writes with complicated love and wry humor about the fusion of language, food, and family. Elegant, lucid, formally inventive, Peach State is a feast." Mark Jarman, author of The Heronry and Dailiness
"In her latest book Peach State, Adrienne Su elevates and honors domestic spaces, especially the kitchen. Su serves up villanelles about chopsticks and chow-mein; a sestina about flank steak; a ghazal about dogs and hotdogs; and a blues sonnet about Buford Highway, famous for its many restaurants. Though Su allows for substitutions (quinoa for rice; Virginia ham for Jinhua ham), there is no substitute for Su’s gracious, accessible voice." Denise Duhamel
About the Author
Adrienne Su is the author of Living Quarters, Having None of It, Sanctuary, and Middle Kingdom. Her poems appear in many anthologies, including four volumes of Best American Poetry. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, she is professor of creative writing and poet-in-residence at Dickinson College.