NC Literary Hall of Fame

 

 

The View Ever Changing by Karen Luke Jackson

Kelsay Books
$18.50, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-954353-22-0
March, 2021
Poetry
Available from your local bookstore or www.Amazon.com

"Ispring from the same ground that Karen Luke Jackson writes about in this poignant collection—the haunting, tension-filled, story-rich forests and fields of the South, where darkness is always rising to meet nostalgia. Here in these soulful poems (to earthworms, to the moon, to ancestors), Jackson looks back through layers, coming to terms with the past and with the present: “a flock of kin I fled/and to whom I have returned.” The book is a reckoning, a force, a love song, an embrace of the Great Mother, a homecoming."
—Janisse Ray, author of A House of Branches: Poems and Ecology of A Cracker Childhood

"Karen Luke Jackson’s new collection, rich in detail, imagery, and complex feeling, take us on a journey that begins with a series of close-up views of a southern childhood and then progresses, through a widening lens, into adulthood’s defining experiences. Along the way, the view—both external and internal—is darkened by loss, social inequities, and the commodification of nature. But it is brightened by the love, perseverance, and spiritual strength summoned by family bonds and by nature’s renewing force. Throughout the journey, the constant is Jackson’s steady vision and clear voice—assured, hospitable, and hopeful."
—Eric Nelson, author of Some Wonder

“'Wiregrass Georgia was holy land,' Karen Luke Jackson writes in her expansive collection The View Ever Changing, but these poems are not naïve homage. Familiar roadsides where the poet 'foraged plums and blackberries' are cleared by chain gangs, and favorite stores are lost to the attrition of time and profit. In vivid poems that are both tribute and challenge, Jackson recalls caring for aging parents, honors powerful women who influenced her, and embraces life’s keen ambivalences. As the title affirms, The View Ever Changing traces a poet’s awakening, transition, reconciliation, and appreciation in a lovely and honest evocation of a beloved place and people."
—Kenneth Chamlee, author of Absolute Faith

The View Ever Changing evolves from a child’s memories of growing up in South Georgia—a world of smokehouses, snuff, and hopscotch—to a grandmother’s fierce reverence for Mother Earth, its rivers, fields and forests. At times narrative and at times lyrical, Karen Luke Jackson’s poems explore her coming of age, wrestle with grief as the author cares for and buries loved ones, and offer a bit of lightheartedness as she deconstructs Goldilocks and considers her own "Gray Matter.” A collection in which the view is truly ever changing, readers will find themselves reflecting on their own life stories—the choices made, the people and places that shaped them, and dreams they now want to bestow on future generations.

Karen Luke Jackson (Flat Rock) draws upon oral history, contemplative practices, and nature for inspiration. Her poetry collection The View Ever Changing explores the power of places and relationships and her chapbook GRIT chronicles her sister’s life as an award-winning clown. Karen resides in a cottage on a goat pasture. When she’s not writing, she companions people on their spiritual journeys.

 
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