A PLACE SO DEEP
IT CAN'T BE SEEN
Sheila-Na-Gig Editions 2020
A Place So Deep Inside America It Can't Be Seen
"Kari Gunter-Seymour's A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen does what journalists and J.D. Vance failed to do: it provides an intimate look at a landscape and family from within Appalachia while recognizing that one story does not the region make. That said, the connections Gunter-Seymour creates throughout her book weave the Appalachian and American together, providing a rare glimpse of what unity might look like."
- Jessica Cory CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW
"Who hasn’t scratched at the question of what it means to be here?" Kari Gunther-Seymour asks in the last line of “The Weeds in This Garden,” one of the poems in an amazing collection. These poems scratch, reach, demand that we find answers to that question of self via the magic and songs of our grandmothers. Via the hot breath of poverty. The hurt and promise of coal. The pleasing and apologies and losses and reckonings of our pasts. Via loving to the bone and five bourbons on a night of being just so alive. Amazing is an inadequate word for A Place so Deep Inside American It Can’t be Seen. I read this book three times and then longed for each poem all over again.
-Karen Salyer McElmurray, Wanting Radiance
“Generations pass and still we toil/scratch at scars, lose track of the path home” Kari Gunter-Seymour writes in her poignant new collection A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen .These searing poems, however, have no trouble tracing the path to the ground of the poet’s making—her childhood home—and to her mother and father, unforgettable, as flesh, ghost and memory. These poems feel necessary and real and stark as the Appalachian Mountains themselves.
-Rita Sims Quillen, Wayland and The Mad Farmer’s Wife
I know with all my knowing others are going to talk about A Place So Deep Inside America It Can’t Be Seen as a fine example of Appalachian writing, and they would be correct, but what I read in this body of work makes me believe in a raw, uncontainable power, the kind that changes and shapes entire mountain ranges, that can fill black holes, that turns flames back onto what is already burned saying “This far, no farther.” This work represents one woman against a world-class destructive force and she will not be silenced. Such power is rarely found.
-Stellasue Lee, Queen of Jacks New and Selected Poems, Editor Emerita, Rattle
How to write about a place that is gone? Kari Gunter-Seymour hits this spot on in her book A Place So Deep Inside America It Can't Be Seen.
Gone are the magics and songs,
all the things our grandmothers buried-
piles of feathers and angel bones. . .
My grandfather was a coal miner, and a big part of my childhood was watching the family homeplace in West Virginia disappear. These poems speak to the loss and grief that are woven into anyone who mourns a place that is no longer there. These poems also do what I admire most--speak the truth without flinching. They are brave in expressing family secrets, trauma, and endurance. The lines are approachable and beautifully crafted. All this, and the book takes on the complexity of Appalachia with keen insight and compassion. I highly recommend adding this one to your top shelf of poetry collections.
-Tina Parker, Lock Her Up