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Kin Types

4.65  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A chapbook of poetry and flash nonfiction, Kin Types is a 2018 Eric Hoffer Award Finalist.
#familyhistory #history #genealogy #womenshistory #recoveredstories

Welcome to Luanne Castle’s Kin Types, where every piece, poem or prose, is a ghost—but not the sort you can see through. You see, Castle’s ghosts have been resurrected through powerful emotion and startling detail, ha
Paperback, 44 pages
Published July 14th 2017 by Finishing Line Press
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Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kin Types is the newest poetry collection by Luanne Castle in which she recreates the stories of her ancestors. She draws you in right away with lines similar to what many of us have heard from our elders, like “Quit scowling or your face will freeze that way” (“Advice from My Forebears,” page 2). I soon found myself immersed in the poems about Dutch immigrants who made their way to Michigan and forged a life, often difficult, judging from many of the poems, but hopeful as well in that these lin ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
The book's format is fascinating in that the author has taken the information she knows about her ancestors and woven it into a combination of poetry and short story narrative. It is dark and sorrowful as were many of the lives of the people who suffered through the poverty, disease, infant death, and fires of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The prose is descriptive and never wasted: "Oil and flame slick and lick her limp apron" and "swaddled inside the crisp sugary walls she nurtu ...more
Andrea Stephenson
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unique, powerful and evocative, I have never read anything quite like Kin Types before. The author weaves poems and prose from the stories of her ancestors, building worlds upon worlds and bringing to life layers of history. In these raw, visceral and moving pieces, that tell tales of birth, death, love and disaster, Castle tells the stories her ancestors might have told if they only could have. From the powerful stare of the ancestor on the cover, you are drawn into a different world, one peopl ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kin Types by Luanne Castle is haunting and deeply emotional, allowing readers to wander off and discover their own ancestral stories. Perhaps they too will re-create the past and see how it mirrors the present or has shaped who they are.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I took Kin Types on the road with me. I slipped it into one of my bags, sensing that the thirty pages of poetry and prose belied a depth and density that I’ve come to anticipate with Luanne’s writing. And yet I still wasn’t prepared for the wealth of stories I found among those pages.

Our first night out, in Olive Branch, Mississippi, I pulled Kin Types from my bag, thinking I would read a poem or two while my husband showered, before we turned off the lights. Instead, I read all the poems, total
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't normally read poetry, but as a follower of Luanne Castle's blogs where I have enjoyed her writing and her thoughts on genealogy immensely, I decided to take the plunge. Well! I was not disappointed.

The big thing that struck me about Luanne's chapbook was the ingenious idea of writing about one's ancestors in poetic form. As a non-family member, it can be difficult to read straight-up family memoir, but Luanne has found a way to make these unknown characters come alive for us, give us a g
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is no surprise that for the three nights since reading Kin Types, I have had vivid dreams of my own family. It is no surprise because Luanne Castle's thought-full book presents the concept of family in such a palpable manner, one feels as if you have sat across the table from an aunt, a grandmother, a cousin, and heard family stories that could very well be your own.

Layered with poems and prose, you turn a page to reveal the next colorful character, the faded memory, the texture of a detail o
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh! Be still my heart and soul. This slim, but powerfully moving chapbook (44 pages) of poetry, prose, and flash non-fiction is the perfect read for anyone who loves language, history, and genealogy. You will be drawn into so many different compelling events in Luanne’s family tree. Please read it and tell your friends about it. You will love it!
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ll be honest, typically I don’t read poetry, but having been a long time follower of Luanne Castle’s fantastic blog, I had to order a copy of Kin Types for my library, and I’m so happy I did. Kin Types is a perfect mix of poetry and short fiction woven together seamlessly. I highly recommend Kin Types to readers who enjoy genealogy and beautiful prose.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I enjoyed Luanne Castle's first book, Doll Gods, but LOVED her newest work, KIN TYPES. The mix of poetry with short fiction was interesting. The individual works were tied together with a geneological theme with imagery so fresh and arresting it brought tears to my eyes. ...more
Cheryl Malandrinos
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Emotional and gripping, Kin Types by Luanne Castle is a collection unlike anything I've ever read before. At moments heart wrenching, at moments disturbing, these powerful glimpses into the lives of the women and men from Castle's family history will grab you right away.

While part of me hoped for more lighter moments, the reality is that our ancestors lived in dangerous, difficult times. Castle captures that reality so well with her poetry and prose. She writes a fascinating blog on family histo
Wall-to-wall books - wendy
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting collection. I love how they are all so different. Some of them are poems some are more prose and some are thoughts or lists. Each one will touch a nerve, will reach into your heart. A few of these are sad and others are encouraging. You can almost picture some of this for your own family.

I really love the whole idea of the book. It's like doing your genealogy or family tree/history in poems. And I am so glad that she wanted to share it with us!

I voluntarily posted this review
Debra Smouse
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
When it comes to exploring who we are, it's amazing how we can be informed by those who came before us.

Luanne Castle does just that for us - daring to imagine the lives of who came before us - in verse.

Kin Types arrived at just the perfect time for me - as I was diving into my own ancestry, both blood and by love - and exploring the longer trails of ancestry of my partner. This tiny book of poetry packs a powerful punch. Begging you to explore, imagine, and make peace with those we love and thos
Ellen Prewitt
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a book jacket before I buy the book. I go entirely by how the first page strikes me. So it was after I'd read Kin Types that I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the reviewers on the back cover compare the poetry to Edgar Lee Masters. I've read and re-read Spoon River Anthology—it's one of my favorites—and Kin Types brought it squarely to mind. This is my favorite type of poetry, where you feel you've stepped into an entire community. Where you see the threads that weave them to ...more
Joy Kidney
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The stories of ancestors help keep them alive. Luanne Castle does that regularly on her blog called The Family Kalamazoo, but in this slim volume of 19 poems and flash prose, she captures individuals with a vignette of well-chosen details that give you goosebumps, even a lump in your throat. They are poignant, sharing some harsh scenes as well as how one name is so ubiquitous in her ancestry. I especially enjoyed the one about family resemblances in old photographs, and noting the names, dates, ...more
Luanne Castle
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2018
marked it as to-read
Oct 29, 2017
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Luanne Castle's Kin Types (Finishing Line Press), a chapbook of poetry and flash nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Award. Her first poetry collection, Doll God, winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, was published by Aldrich Press. A Pushcart nominee, she studied at the University of California, Riverside (PhD); Western Michigan University (MFA); and Stanford Universi ...more

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