EastOver Press is proud to announce the publication of a collection of poems, What We Take With Us, by Appalachian poet Sylvia Woods.
Ranging from the humble and poignant to the humorous, Woods’ poems explore her personal experience as an educator, as well as her own transition from daughter to mother and eventually to grandmother. Throughout Woods’ work, the memory of family and the myth of family history is a driving force.
What We Take With Us has received much pre-publication praise. Pulitzer Prize nominee Maurice Manning said, “The poems in this fine collection are as true as a river fork and as durable as the hills above. They are also, like the many people and voices here recalled, humble and hard-won. The grit and humor walk side by side with grief and spunk, but isn’t that what we ask of poetry, this lofty air? As it sails in the breeze of reflection and intellect, don’t we also require this ancient art to be human, to be fallible and clumsy and loving and real? This book fulfills those obligations and more. It also walks the poignant line of Time, both knowing and absorbing the fact that one age has unavoidably succeeded another—and yet these poems have hold of both, as if they are kin, and, of course, they are.”
Darnell Arnoult, author of the poetry collection Galaxie Wagon, said, “This may be a debut collection, but Woods is no novice to poetry. Each poem is a gem crafted by an experienced hand, strung together jewel after jewel.”
Sylvia Woods taught high school English in East Tennessee for forty-three years. She is a native of Clay County in Eastern Kentucky where her ancestors have lived for over two hundred years. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies including Appalachian Journal, Calliope, Centrifugal Eye, Tennessee English Journal, and in multiple editions of MotesBooks’ Motif anthology series. This is Woods’ first full-length collection.