I chose this collection for a few reasons. I like hooks’ work, and I like poetry collections that are deliberate collections. So when I saw that the subtitle of this collection was ‘Poetry and Place’ and was, according to the back of the book, “a collection of poems inspired by [hooks’] life in the Kentucky hills,” I decided to give it a try.
I should have read a few poems first.
hooks is a lot of things, many of them great. Based on this collection, however, she’s no poet. Poetry is difficult, if not impossible to define, but in my mind, it’s got to be something more than prose stripped bare. And that’s largely what’s here.
If you see it in a bookstore or library, read hooks’ excellent introduction.
Then put it back.