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Dear All by Maggie Anderson

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            Maggie Anderson was honored at the 23rd annual Appalachian Literary Festival at Emory & Henry College. Her family has strong West Virginia ties, and she started her undergraduate work at West Virginia Wesleyan and finished it with high honors at West Virginia University where she also received both an M.A. in creative writing and an M.S.W. She started her career in social work, but in 1979 she published her first of many poetry books, The Great Horned Owl, and began working as a poet-in-residence in schools, correctional facilities, libraries and libraries and continued that work for ten years when she became a professor at Kent State University until her retirement in 2009. She now lives in Asheville, North Carolina. The title poem, Dear All, begins with a litany of ways she has known people throughout her life and ends with an assurance that “I have remained steadfast here/ I have remembered you wholly into this day.” Maurice Manning comments of this collection, “I love how this book moves from the personal to the public, from the private room of the heart where losses are conferred, to the world’s stage of mindless, unaccountable war. The two realms are inseparable, and despite the difference of scale, each deepens the other. . . The vulnerability in these poems is real, but so is the hope.” “Dear All brims with art and with danger, with elegance and with horror, brought forth by Anderson’s intense, persistent, and almost unimaginable attention to suffering—both local and global. These is such courage and much beauty in this book. . . . It is a darkly ravishing achievement.” – Lynn Emanuel.

New York: Four Way, 2017. 75 pages with Notes. Trade paperback