I get the first word of the title, “woman.” All these poems include a woman, even those that start with a man always finish with a woman getting the last word. But I’m not smart enough to get the last word, “crows.” “Woman with Crows brings the reader into a life engaged with the deeper, more difficult beauties of the world. Threaded through with the language of myth and fairy tale, and grounded in earthy roots and cycles of life and death, these poems have a wingspan that gathers both light and dark, silence and voice, this side and the other. Life is whole in these poems, their truth profound.” – Diane Gilliam. “She trusted her wings and sailed a brisk salt wind…right out of that old story.” With this ending line of the opening poem, April Asbury sets the tone for this collection. The Woman with Crows stares down the world, exploring the complex social contract that women sign without knowing it, just by virtue of their gender. These poems often recount many traditional tasks and roles: grocery-shopping, canning, caring for the sick, keeping up with family history and expectations, but with the open eyes of one who chooses that nurturing role knowing “The truth is you don’t need Eve’s fruit: …You can starve to death in Paradise.” This is a fine debut from a very promising voice. – Rita Quillen. “Woman with Crows explores the secrets of childhood, girlhood, and what it means to be a woman. These well-crafted poems delve into mythologies old and new and show us a myriad of ways to tell a story. And we listen again and again.” – Crystal Wilkinson.
Georgetown, Kentucky: Finishing Line Press, 2021. 23 pages. Trade paperback.