Chestnut Ridge a finalist in Maine Lit Awards for poetry 2020
But read this endorsement and watch the video below.
William Faulkner is famous for mining “his own little post stamp of native soil” for what he called “the old universal truths.” In Chestnut Ridge , Dawn Potter is following Faulkner’s wise path, giving us a polyphonic portrait of southwestern Pennsylvania in an impressive range of voices, pitches, and forms. She starts with the region’s tragicomic history—“the undiagnosed roads littered with sorrows”; “the pale and ruminating / heifer”—moving gradually through time to the present. All along, mining the full possibilities of persona, our intrepid author takes possession of her own origins as melancholic witness to a bygone America whose history it would be a terrible mistake to lose. This sad, moral, and really smart book is essential reading for anyone interested in hearing a master poet sing an indispensable bereavement song.