Flow Blue, by Sarah Kennedy
Sarah Kennedy published her first book of poems, From the Midland Plain, in a limited edition in 1999. She holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Poetry from Purdue and an MFA in poetry from Vermont College. Winner of The Nebraska Review and Flyaway awards in poetry, she lives in Lexington, Virginia, and teaches at Mary Baldwin College.
What impresses me the most about Sarah Kennedy's Flow Blue is how her poems move us through time as their speaker struggles to unstrangulate her voice. Hers is an uncanny ability to allow language of the natural world to magnify and transform the human world of power relationships, where silence is both acquiescence and survival. These narratives are so precise they become a plural, so that by the end of the book, they include us all. Kennedy's poems become a terrifying conduit between rural beauty and brutality. As we hold this amazing collection up to the light, we see how its heartful language leaks like the flawed, runny paint in an antique plate into portraits brutish as a fingerprint of power. --Tracy Philpot, Judge Second Annual Elixir Press Book Awards