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Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia

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The sixty-three fiction writers and poets within this anthology delve deep into the many senses of place that modern West Virginia, the core of Appalachia, inspires. Throughout this collection, we see profound wonder, questioning, and conflicts involving family, sexual identity, class, discrimination, environmental beauty, and peril, and all the sorts of rebellion, error, The sixty-three fiction writers and poets within this anthology delve deep into the many senses of place that modern West Virginia, the core of Appalachia, inspires. Throughout this collection, we see profound wonder, questioning, and conflicts involving family, sexual identity, class, discrimination, environmental beauty, and peril, and all the sorts of rebellion, error, contemplation, and contentment that an intrepid soul can devise. These stories and poems, all published within the last fifteen years, are grounded in what it means to live in and identify with a complex place. With a mix of established writers like Jayne Anne Phillips, Norman Jordan, Ann Pancake, Maggie Anderson, and Denise Giardina and fresh voices like Matthew Neill Null, Ida Stewart, Rajia Hassib, and Scott McClanahan, this collection breaks open new visions of all-American landscapes of the heart. By turns rowdy and contemplative, hilarious and bleak, and lyrical and gritty, it is a collage of extraordinary literary visions.  


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The sixty-three fiction writers and poets within this anthology delve deep into the many senses of place that modern West Virginia, the core of Appalachia, inspires. Throughout this collection, we see profound wonder, questioning, and conflicts involving family, sexual identity, class, discrimination, environmental beauty, and peril, and all the sorts of rebellion, error, The sixty-three fiction writers and poets within this anthology delve deep into the many senses of place that modern West Virginia, the core of Appalachia, inspires. Throughout this collection, we see profound wonder, questioning, and conflicts involving family, sexual identity, class, discrimination, environmental beauty, and peril, and all the sorts of rebellion, error, contemplation, and contentment that an intrepid soul can devise. These stories and poems, all published within the last fifteen years, are grounded in what it means to live in and identify with a complex place. With a mix of established writers like Jayne Anne Phillips, Norman Jordan, Ann Pancake, Maggie Anderson, and Denise Giardina and fresh voices like Matthew Neill Null, Ida Stewart, Rajia Hassib, and Scott McClanahan, this collection breaks open new visions of all-American landscapes of the heart. By turns rowdy and contemplative, hilarious and bleak, and lyrical and gritty, it is a collage of extraordinary literary visions.  

30 review for Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    A month or two ago I was at the library. I turned the corner to a new stretch of shelves and saw this book waiting for me at the end of a shelf: not a book I was familiar with, but one of those serendipitous finds. The book itself is exactly what it claims - short stories and poems by West Virginian writers. The effect is a delightful kaleidoscope. It joins the voices of women and men, natives of the state and transplants, young and old - all to tell the story of this one place they have in commo A month or two ago I was at the library. I turned the corner to a new stretch of shelves and saw this book waiting for me at the end of a shelf: not a book I was familiar with, but one of those serendipitous finds. The book itself is exactly what it claims - short stories and poems by West Virginian writers. The effect is a delightful kaleidoscope. It joins the voices of women and men, natives of the state and transplants, young and old - all to tell the story of this one place they have in common. I haven't spent much time at all in West Virginia, maybe a backpacking trip or two, but I have a better sense now of its spirit. I also heard echoes from my own childhood in rural Wisconsin and from the state I now call home. Like any anthology, I didn't love every piece, but - there was also something about this book that I can't quite put my finger on, something that is just so strikingly lovely and hopeful. The best writing invites you into another life, I think; it asks you to walk alongside it for a time and let it speak without interrupting. This collection does that so well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    This anthology made me homesick in the best way possible. I've been picking at it off and on since February, but this last week I blazed through the majority without being able to stop. Seems fitting that I finished on the anniversary of West Virginia's birth. Not every piece in here is great, but most are. And some are truly, really brilliant. PS: I know a good number of the folks whose work appears. What a lovely reunion. This anthology made me homesick in the best way possible. I've been picking at it off and on since February, but this last week I blazed through the majority without being able to stop. Seems fitting that I finished on the anniversary of West Virginia's birth. Not every piece in here is great, but most are. And some are truly, really brilliant. PS: I know a good number of the folks whose work appears. What a lovely reunion.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Pillion

    The structure of this book flowed well and most of its short stories I found great. I couldn't find myself that interested in any of the poetry selections, though. I think the stories related here really broadcasted the soul of most West Virginians, and brought to light its almost secluded-like nature from the rest of the U.S. It felt honest. It represented a good number of marginalized authors (LGBT, POC, disability) and thought this exceptionally important to show readers that West Virginia is The structure of this book flowed well and most of its short stories I found great. I couldn't find myself that interested in any of the poetry selections, though. I think the stories related here really broadcasted the soul of most West Virginians, and brought to light its almost secluded-like nature from the rest of the U.S. It felt honest. It represented a good number of marginalized authors (LGBT, POC, disability) and thought this exceptionally important to show readers that West Virginia is more complex than some "rednecks" and conservatism.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Helton

    A great collection. The pieces are unapologetic in their embrace of the culture and region and that gives a strong sense that these weren't written for outsider, not written to congeal a sense of insiders, but just written as good stories and poems that are using the raw materials of the region. The writing comes out of the region, and are not written to try to summarize or represent it. A great collection. The pieces are unapologetic in their embrace of the culture and region and that gives a strong sense that these weren't written for outsider, not written to congeal a sense of insiders, but just written as good stories and poems that are using the raw materials of the region. The writing comes out of the region, and are not written to try to summarize or represent it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Poignant, thought provoking, serious, awe inspiring. All word that can describe this collection. Filled with great pieces that paint a beautiful picture of West Virginian life. My only issue is what I have with all collections: I personally get overwhelmed reading them with all the different styles and themes. If you want to know West Virginia this is a good place to start.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bill Calhoun

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meghann Ferguson

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Durand

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Paine

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matt Hensley

  11. 4 out of 5

    LA Smith

  12. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Kalinoski

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Smith

  14. 5 out of 5

    Isaac Brady

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura Lynn

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna Meredith

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hunter

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dominic Piacentini

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ace Boggess

  22. 5 out of 5

    D

  23. 5 out of 5

    Neil Humphrey

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Moore

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Siffrin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Edison Black

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

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