This is the second poetry collection of this young author, and it is not a common feat for a second book to be snagged by LSU Press, arguably the most prestigious in this genre in the South. Wimberley’s first book focused on his relationship with his late father, and this book stays conscious of death but expands his vision into the region where he was born and now teaches at Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. “Matthew Wimberley possesses an uncanny ear: he listens to ghosts, nuthatches, blood, ridges, sorrow, beeches, and to the ‘run-on sentence of a creek.’ This listening is an intimacy with inheritance and Appalachia. This listening is rich with astonishing connections and leaps: the ‘clang of snow-chains’ turns into the music of a carousel and light is retooled into a ‘scalpel of an undertaker.’ Compassionate and achingly precise, Wimberley’s second book is remarkable - his immense gifts as a poet shine on every page.” --Eduardo C. Corral. “Shadows, tinfoil, turpentine, and suicides in the river – Matthew Wimberly’s
poems draw up sorrowful skeletons from a dark pool, sluicing water from them, bringing them into brilliant light. There are small-town collapses here, rendered as the epics they are from the interior: extinctions, inheritance, generations of forgetful and forgotten men scattered like ashes through the stanzas. There are heroes here, unfaithful, their sons standing stranded by the school, waiting to be remembered and brought home. Wimberley's skills as a carpenter of verse are showcased as he strips their stories down for telling, removing the gleaming veneer of romanticism to reveal the clean pine of the roadside marker. The poems of Daniel Boone's Window call to the wandering dead, using the rhythms of regretted speeches and echoing shouts. They catalogue the wilderness while sawdust leaks out, offering depictions of a gone world, but gone only lately, not yet obliterated, and perhaps, given the right ministrations, capable of resurrection.” ― Maria Dahvana Headley.
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2021. 66 pages. Trade paperback.