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Poems: New and Selected

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A collection of haunting lyricism that evokes the beauty and hardship of the rural South, by a revered American master of letters—the award-winning, bestselling author of the novels Serena, Something Rich and Strange, and Above the Waterfall.

In this incandescent, profound, and accessible collection, beloved and award-winning poet, novelist, and short-story writer Ron Rash
ebook, 192 pages
Published March 15th 2016 by Ecco
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, southern
Over the last few years I have gotten to know the writing of Ron Rash as a premier voice in Southern literature. A professor at Western Carolina University, he wowed me with his PEN/Faulkner nominated Serena as well as One Foot in Eden; Rash can flat out write. Last week I saw my Goodreads friend Diane reading a book of Rash's poetry, and I knew that I had to get it for myself. To my delightful surprise, the library did not have the collection that Diane read, but a larger collection that includ ...more
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition



They tore the telephone lines
from the valley like unhealed
stitches, poles and wires hauled off
through which voices had once flowed
across Jocassee like freshets
crisscrossing, running backward
into far coves where one phone
might be shared by five families.
In those lines was sediment
of births and sickness, deaths,
love vows and threats, all passed on
mouth to mouth, vital as breath
before silenced in the lake's
currents of lost connections.

if springsteen ever runs out of
Poems: New and Selected, Ron Rash's Appalachia in Verse

Those readers who have admired the prose of Ron Rash should welcome the publication of Poems: New and Selected from the ecco imprint of Harper Collins. This volume of beautifully haunting verse contains poems from each of Rash's previously published collections of poems: Eureka Mill, Raising the Dead, Among the Believers, and Waking, with equally captivating new poems.

Rash's poems are rich in the distillation of memory of place, people, natu
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It’s a joy to witness the blooming of Ron Rash's career. I first read a story of his over a decade ago. I bought an O. Henry anthology in Toronto, hoping to read an old teacher's entry and while away a plane journey home to England. Rash's entry ('Speckled Trout') ended up stealing the show. Before the month had ended I got hold of his novels and story collections from sellers in the US, and enjoyed them all.

Today, Rash's work enjoys slots on the bestseller lists, two film adaptations, and glowi
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read very little poetry as it is too abstract for my imagination or lack of imagination. However, I will have to say that many of these poems were very emotional for me and I can see where he is a great writer both in poetry and prose. I just wish I had someone to give me a more in depth explanation of some of his poems. I have read several of his books and Ron Rash is definitely one of my very favorite writers of all time.
Emily Weathers
Ron Rash composes beautiful Carolinian ballads, voices singing narratives of an overlooked South: life in Appalachia and mill towns. The selections captured native voice and tone so perfectly that I often forgot I was reading poetry, becoming lost in the dialogue of Rash’s poignant lyricism. He unveils his treasures by threading together local histories with the lore from a few generations back, ultimately capturing the core of the Southern persistent spirit.

A friend recommended this hauntingly
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
(4.5) I have been reading Rash's prose for a while, but have ignored his poetry. I recently attended an event celebrating the release of his new novel and got to hear him read some of his poems. They took me by surprise. I left the event with The Risen AND this collection of poems. I recognize the people and the places in this volume as my family and my home. The Eureka Mill poems particularly spoke to me because of my family's history with Beacon Mill in Swannanoa. A beautiful and powerful coll ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard like his prose, but truthful and unflinching.
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
Great collection of Poems! Ron Rash's writing never disappoints. His words always paint the most vivid pictures.
Marianne Mersereau
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love the strong narrative element in these poems; folks who appreciate Southern Literature and storytelling will enjoy these, even though some deal with heavy subject matter. Highly recommend.
Dan Gobble
I had previously read most of these poems in other books by Ron Rash. I thoroughly enjoyed having this collection to go back through them and savor his way of evoking the mountain spirits and way of life. The images echo back as far as the first settlers, civil war era, on up through his contemporary setting. His writing, whether in the form of poem or novel, usually has a coarse, melancholic feel, yet often offering glimmers of light shining in a darkened hollow or moon light on a barn roof or ...more
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Mary Oliver meets Edgar Lee Masters in Appalachia. Enchanting descriptions of nature combined with vignettes from life. Rash is a master wordsmith. Sometimes he will stop your breath for a moment, as in the poem, "Shelton Laurel." A combat soldier slips away from battle and finds refuge in a cave, where he pens a letter to his sister about the horrors of war. "...A branch runs through this cavern, in it trout/ whose eyes are blind from years of too much dark. / I envy them for all they haven't s ...more
Mark Magoon
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ron Rash writes poems for the flawed and for the worst of us. Again and again he finds quiet, broken folks and tells their stories with stoic simplicity, with language that’s both barren and lush as the change of seasons. His pastoral death poems are anti-hero and anti-love. They’re all Appalachia and awe-inspiringly beautiful.

Read the full review at the Chicago Review of Books:
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, poetry
Ron Rash's poetry reads very much like his novels and short stories, people struggling to survive and find meaning in the rural South from before the Civil War through to the present. This collection of his work shows his continuing growth as a poetic voice (the more recent ones, to me, are stronger) while demonstrating that many challenges of contemporary life for the working class - commitment to land, family, and history - are the same as they have been throughout American history.
Tom Jorgenson
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If a Ron Rash short story is like a punch in the gut, a Ron Rash poem is like a knife blade across the face. You experience these poems physically: a sharp intake of breath, a head thrown back or dropped low, eyes closed. I've never seen loss written about with such precision, immediacy, and beauty.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mostly narrative poems that sing the stories of strong people. A hymn to Appalachia, an elegy for his forebears. Ron Rash is that rare writer who is equally eloquent in fiction long and short and in poetry as well. Love this book and will read again and again.
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend. One of our best Appalachian/Southern writers.
Paul Womack
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fine collection of poems mostly read before but, with the newer ones, all fresh and tender and heart felt.
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Evocative, let Ron whisk ya on down to the haystacks, smokestacks, open rock faces, little tricklin rivulets in Appalachian country. I thought the poem "Fall Creek" was particularly sexay.
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-lit
A wonderful compilation of all volumes of Rash's poetry-Raising The Dead, Among The Believers, Eureka Mill, Waking, and the inclusion of 8 new poems.
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
A powerful insight into the moods, and families of Appalachia. Several poems were moving, pithily capturing the essence and sprit of their lives.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
An engaging collection of Ron Rash poetry.
sam wilder
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
excellent naturalistic poetry that takes me home to the mountains.
Zach Cole
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is that time of year where the nights become longer and early afternoon sun seems to linger in the sky longer than ever; where leaves coat the pavement in red-and-orange fractal patterns. It's a great time of year for poetry, especially poems by North Carolina native Ron Rash, who focuses on quiet moments, the short distance between life and death, the impact that landscapes have on the human heart.

Here's the opening to one of the best poems in the book, "Under Jocassee":

One summer morning
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I never read poetry. It's just not one of my preferred genres. However, it was part of my 2018 Summer Reading Challenge, and reading outside of my box is a challenge well met. A local librarian recommended Ron Rash.

It was the section of poetry Eureka Mill which spoke to me the loudest. Being part of a cotton mill family and having been the recipient of endless "mill stories" from family members, the poetry touched me deeply.

That yankee photographer would sto
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very substantial sampling of a lifetime of poems. I have greatly enjoyed and admired Rash's novels about North Carolina and the non-urban south. He is a wonderful storyteller. His poems are no exception. Each poem, seldom more than a page and a half, is a mini story -- a glimpse of a person or place or time, with bushels of metaphors. Nothing fancy, seldom a rhyme, and the subject matter never strays far from the world of his novels. There are some powerful images: a man's face looking up thro ...more
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I might be biased because so many of the places referenced in the collection are my native backyard, so to speak, but I found the evocation of the natural world intoxicating and the characters charming and heartbreaking. There were at least a handful in here that shook me to the core. For a couple weeks, I began each day chewing on several poems over a cup of coffee, and each day was better for it.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The hard lives of southern farmers and mill workers, punctuated by sudden violence and death, but with hints of transcendence. I especially liked the poems “The preacher is called to testify for the accused”, “The fox”, and “Three A.M. and the star were out”.
John Caleb Grenn
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-poetry
I say I finished it, but I’ll be back. I had never read anything of Rash’s before these poems, and I am forever a fan. By capturing the heart of appalachian farm and mill life throughout the past two centuries, he took me to places and told me unforgettable stories.
Bruce Gunther
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
First time reading this author. Took a little time to get into it, which is because of my taste, not the writing, but there's a lot of beauty in these pages. The inner rhymes are so smooth you can read right over them; which is another good reason to read them aloud. Want to explore more by him.
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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

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