"Teri Youmans Grimm's first collection of poetry is a marvelous beginning. She is a clear-eyed, bemused observer of her kinfolk. There is tenderness here, too. These poems will make you wish that all families, even those that don't deserve it, had such a wise, compassionate chronicler."From the Publisher:
With vivid characters and striking details, the poems in Dirt Eaters recount the author's examination of her Cracker and southern ancestry in a way that extends beyond the familial to include a region and class sometimes maligned, sometimes romanticized, and often misunderstood. In these haunted, lyric narratives, culture, religion, and class collide. The resulting poems serve tribute to a place and its people through examination of sin and redemption, darkness and light, haves and have-nots, and shame and pride. The book is borne of the consequences of leaving a place and family sleeped in the history and traditions of the South. The poet, having moved to the Midwest, has become a sort of expatriate in her father's eyes, and she herself has underestimated the hold that home would have over her. These poems are a mystical journey back through her ancestry. The dead serve as conjurers and characters both real and mythologized throughout the collection: Uncle Seward, who uses dice and the Bible as a means of prophecy, blind Aunt Ater, who finds solace and doom in biblical numbers, and an unlucky man facing certain death as he stands on an alligator's back.
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