A wonderful collection of poems about small-town America that does not rely on nostalgia. Indeed, the good, the bad, and the ugly can be found in this book, but all in all, there's hope, resilience, and a stubborn beauty found in the poems that explores living in places that are tiny dots on maps. Full disclosure: Yes, two of poems are in this book, but other poets include Jeff Newberry, Allison Joseph, Brent Goodman, Ted Kooser, Shaindel Beers, and Helen Ruggieri.
Perhaps I'm biased because I spent 19 years growing up in a small town, but I found this collection wonderful, simultaneously joyful and poignant. Found within are poems full of pathos that detail the seemingly inevitable downturn and abandonment of rural America. Others are nostalgic reflections on the author's past life or evocations of simpler pleasures. Still others reveal the hope and resilience that, to me, still defines the "flyover country" that molded me. This collection reveals the fullness of life in small towns, and I encourage everyone to give it a read.