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“In this work, it’s Mary Ann’s natural, private, witty voice, talking to you as she talks to herself, not just frank but truthful, trying to get at the truth. Like most great books, this one is both serious and funny. Every last word in it is right.”
Susan Starr Richards, author of Great Naps
"The subject here is daily life and its uncommon richness. The starkly resonant moment discovered in these poems suddenly appears to be at one with common sense and practicality, grounded in the here and now. And yet the poems in this deep and enlarging book always defy that superficial description—because that is what this book is about, a sweet, abiding defiance. All things refuse to be merely what they seem at first notice; all things have an after life, an inner-life, a beyond-life. Beauty, at first, is no big deal, and is then accepted; spiritual and temporal transcendence are no large claims on this reality. And yet, love in its various forms comes along, to move the poet and the entire world around her from happiness through grief, and on to further love and further wisdom. This is a book of gorgeous poetry that reaches always beyond itself, and leaves one with the feeling that always reaching farther is what we are supposed to do. And so, along with great beauty and true art, in this book we also have an invitation.”
Maurice Manning, author of The Common Man
“I never get tired of being inside the mind of Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, never knowing what will turn up next in this poet’s keen and tender seeing of the world—creature or spirit, a kind of radiance suffusing everything. Each of these poems is so alive, so unexpected, so uncontrived, so beautiful and true in the rarest, most startling way. I could dwell here forever.”
Cecilia Woloch, author of Carpathia and Late
“Mary Ann Taylor-Hall is a lyrical cosmonaut, an explorer into the mystery of time, space and consciousness. Who are we and what is all this that comes out of nowhere? Beholding this mystery with sheer wonder, she zigzags between the out-there and the right-here. These poems form a breathtaking, exhilarating narrative, a journey through a particular life in the context of the infinite. She can touch base with the universe and then zoom in on a bird feather or a yellow leaf. We are jolted by her perceptions, surprised by what we hadn’t noticed, but she was up at dawn, noticing—noticing everything, in detail, and bringing the fresh news to us. Out of Nowhere is nothing less than genius.”
Bobbie Ann Mason, author of Clear Springs: A Memoir
The first comprehensive poetry collection by award-winning Kentucky writer and poet Mary Ann Taylor-Hall
Selected and arranged by the author, the poems in Out of Nowhere unfold as a luminous narrative of the poet’s life, moving through seasons of experience—from the first stirrings of childhood consciousness to present-day meditations on loss and grief—with candor, clarity, and startling tenderness. She opens to the reader the intimate landscape of her life in rural Kentucky, which she connects directly to the immensities and astonishing mysteries of the universe that come smashing through even our most ordinary days.
Published in 2017 by Old Cove Press
Mary Ann Taylor-Hall has published two novels: Come and Go, Molly Snow and At The Breakers, and a collection of stories, How She Knows What She Knows About Yo-Yos. Her short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Sewanee Review, and other literary quarterlies, and has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories. In the past ten years, she has returned to poetry and has published two letterpress limited editions, Dividing Ridge and Joy Dogs. She has been the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council. More info →
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Planted by the Signs brings us the contemporary Appalachian poetry of Misty Skaggs. With a knack for pointed personal and social observation, she tells the stories of generations of women who have learned to navigate a harsh world with a little help from the Farmers’ Almanac and the stars: women who know how to plant by the signs.
Each of the crystalline worlds Cary Holladay brings us in the short stories and novella that make up Brides in the Sky has sisterhood, in all its urgency and peril, at its heart. She crafts these stories with subtle humor, a stunning sense of place, and an unerring eye for character.
The poems in Julie Hanson’s second award-winning book inscribe deep stillness on a world of harmonies in motion, illustrating the movement between and among seasons and tasks, work and leisure, solitude and people, and all through private life as it intersects with the products and noises of industry and nature.
In Animal Purpose, Michelle Y. Burke explores the lives of men and women as they stand poised between the desire to love and the compulsion to harm. She scours the hard edges of the world to find “fleeting softness,” which she wishes “into the world like pollen that covers everything.”
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