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Live from the Homesick Jamboree
Adrian Blevins

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2009 • 68 pp. 6 x 9"

$14.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7461-9
$24.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-6930-1

$11.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7051-2

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“In long-lined, energetic poems that focus on her dysfunctional family, is angry with everyone, including herself, but still manages to have a good time. … Lively and readable, this new work artfully captures the problems that accompany unskilled parenthood and divorce.”—Ellen Kaufman, Library Journal

Molten and musical poetry from an acclaimed Southern writer

Live from the Homesick Jamboree is a brave, brash, funny, and tragic hue and cry on growing up female during the 1970s, “when everything was always so awash” that the speaker finds herself adrift among adults who act like children. The book moves from adolescence through a dry-eyed, poignant exploration of two marriages, motherhood, and the larger world, with the headlong perceptiveness and brio characteristic of Adrian Blevins’s work. This poetry is plainspoken and streetwise, brutal and beautiful, provocative and self-incriminating, with much musicality and a corrosive bravura, brilliantly complicated by bursts of vernacular language and flashes of compassion. Whether listening to Emmylou Harris while thinking she should be memorizing Tolstoy, reflecting on her “full-to-bursting motherliness,” aging body, the tensions and lurchings of a relationship, or “the cockamamie lovingness” of it all, the language flies fast and furious. As the poet Tony Hoagland wrote of Blevins’s previous book, The Brass Girl Brouhaha, “this is the dirty, trash-talking, highly edified real thang.”

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"Like Hart Crane, she forces disparate elements into the same space, crafting contradictory structures that complement a poet so desperately in love, and in hate, with her world and herself."—Abigail Deutsch, Poetry magazine

“A genuine tale of sorrow and celebration, Live from the Homesick Jamboree is masterful and riveting to the last line. Replete with imagery that is not only breathtaking but unmistakably real, this collection stands as Adrian Blevins’s most haunting work yet.” —Tawnysha Green, Southern Humanities Review

“This book is rich with words from every register, and they are roughed-up and sand-papered and worshipped and flung. The AC/DC-ness of them is nothing if not a mirror of what it is to live—which is awfully like what it is to love.” —Ellen Doré Watson, author of This Sharpening

“Adrian Blevins is a transcendent poet of the family in all its discontent and turbulence. Hers is a world of crush and gorge. And that gorge is deep and beautiful, but there’s always a party brewing on the cliffs and dancing to be done on its crumbling edges, swords to be unsheathed, and words like stars to lasso and spin into her glittering lines.” —Barbara Hamby, author of Babel

From the Book:

Back when my head like an egg in a nest
was vowel-keen and dawdling, I shed my slick beautiful
and put it in a basket and laid it barefaced at the river
among the taxing rocks. My beautiful was all hush
and glitter. It was too moist to grasp. My beautiful
had no tongue with which to lick—no discernable
wallowing gnaw. It was really a breed of destruction
like a nick in a knife. It was a notch in the works
or a wound like a bell in a fat iron mess. My beautiful
was a drink too sopping to haul up and swig!
Therefore with the trees watching and the beavers abiding
I tossed my beautiful down at the waterway against
the screwball rocks. Even then there was no hum.
My beautiful was never ill-bred enough, no matter what
you say. If you want my blue yes everlasting, try my
she, instead. Try the why not of my low down,
Sugar, my windswept and wrecked.

Author Photo

ADRIAN BLEVINS won the 2004 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for The Brass Girl Brouhaha (2003), and is also the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award, a Bright Hill Press Chapbook Award for The Man Who Went Out for Cigarettes (1996), and the Lamar York Prize for Nonfiction. She teaches at Colby College.

This project is supported in part by an award from
National Endowment for the Arts

Sun, 23 Sep 2018 13:50:12 -0500