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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Long live Ron Rash the storyteller, but heres the news. Ron Rash the poet is back and giving us poems that are both the river stones and the water making them shine. If allowed only two words for this wonderful poet, they would have to be clear and lithe.
Hardcover, 74 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Hub City Press (first published August 26th 2011)
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Larry Bassett
I was eager to read this most recent (2011) book of collected poetry by Ron Rash after reading his first three poetry offerings in recent weeks. Rash started with poetry and reviewers of his more recent novels note that as they praise his poetic use of words in his prose work. He is rapidly becoming more than a well known and well respected regional writer in the southern and Appalachian areas. His recent bestseller Serena and his short story collections have moved him into the national scene. M ...more
Waking by Ron Rash — a collection of poems broken up into five parts — and the cover’s barren landscape with its snowed in vehicle is a perfect depiction of the run down landscape presented in the first selection of poems. From “Woodshed in Watauga County” (page 7) “as mud daubers and dust motes/drifted above like moments/unmoored from time, and the world/” and from “Junk Car in Snow” (page 8), “No shade tree surgery could/revive its engine, so rolled/into the pasture, left stalled/among cattle, ...more
Will White
My first book of poetry I've reviewed and it fell short for me. Maybe the familiarity I have with the area actually took away from the impact. I do enjoy Ron Rash's other books and would recommend them all. I'll keep Waking on nightstand to see if I can better relate after a couple of reads.
I read this book of poems because I was taken by Rash’s rich use of language in his novel, Serena. He uses his powers of observation, knowledge of Appalachia, his culture and people, and concise word choice to full advantage. Many of the poems are snapshots or paintings in words in which little happens: the sort of poems I’m not usually fond of, but I give his 5 stars. Others are full of action, violence, and its aftermath, some about the Civil War. I’ll be going back to read them all again.
Beautiful little gems of poems, the best are stories or the basis for stories
Sara Bozzelli
So beautiful! Each poem, a crystallized and complete story.
Even if you don't like poetry, I think you'll love this book. Little gems of stories packed into poems, they bring to life people of the Southern Appalachians and many other places. I'm particularly fond of the first three sections.
This was my first Ron Rash to read and I liked it. I KNOW these places that he speaks of, the images spring up inside of me like home!
Ron Rash is the most exquisite writer of the South and of our times. He has a poet's heart.
See, Vol. 61 No. 2 "Recommended Reading" for my review of Waking.
Robert Arndt
Good NC mountain poetry that makes good use of the people and landscape.
I've read casually, now seriously. Superb
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Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestselling novel, Serena, in addition to three other prizewinning novels, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; three collections of poems; and four collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other St ...more
More about Ron Rash...
Serena The Cove One Foot in Eden Saints at the River Burning Bright: Stories

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