Alison Pelegrin’s fourth poetry collection, Waterlines, has just been released by LSU Press. Alison is the author of three previous poetry collections, and the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her essays and poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Southern Review, as well as on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac.
Alison has multiple events planned in New Orleans and Covington in the coming weeks—you may purchase you copy at one of these events or drop by her office or your local bookstore.
Praise for Waterlines:
What a genuinely fresh voice, what a natural treasure is Alison Pelegrin! In these poems, steeped like a rich tea in the nature and culture of south Louisiana, we find both benedictions and curses, songs of praise and anguish at being the very thing she is: a daughter of the South. I love her bold and impudent voice, her unflinching vision. I would trust her to take me anywhere.
Sheryl St. Germain, author of Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair
It’s said that figures as different as Jefferson and Goethe were comfortable in the world because they were at home in Monticello and Weimar, respectively, and the same is true of Alison Pelegrin. Waterlines starts locally and then radiates outward, not geographically so much as emotionally and spiritually. There are poems about faith, poems of wry and even scary self-examination, poems that combine these themes and more. Pelegrin stays close to her roots yet journeys out and back, ranging widely and then coming back home to tap strength and sustenance. In the end, Waterlines is a big, big book.
David Kirby, author of Get up, Please
After the flooding from Hurricane Katrina, a displaced family, in WATERLINES, has moved “across the Lake,“ leaving urbane, Catholic, funky New Orleans for “the rural South, where no one’s sneaky about violence.” “(O)mens and holy rollers…were staked out/ at our back door with pamphlets//and loaves of bread.” With her fine ear for speech rhythms and the characteristic phrase, and her mystic’s eye for precise detail and intensity, Pelegrin give us poems dense with the sights, smells, sounds, and finally the value, of this new present. The poems embody the resilience we need: “Outside the doublewide I’ll stand/and bless creation in its disarray.” And they offer a “Prayer of Forgiveness“ any of us could pray in a strange land: “God forgive my open eyes, my unrepentant gawking.”
Ava Leavell Haymon, author of Eldest Daughter: Poems