Colorfast (Penguin Poets) (Paperback)

Colorfast (Penguin Poets) By Rose McLarney Cover Image

Colorfast (Penguin Poets) (Paperback)


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A haunting, intimate, and beautifully-crafted collection of poems rooted in southern Appalachia that reflects on loss and remembrance—and reaches beyond the constraints of time and place

Rose McLarney’s fourth collection of poems, Colorfast, reckons with fading and bleeding away, the gray of aging and the gray areas to which truths are relegated. McLarney reconsiders girlhood stories, acknowledges omissions from Southern history, and studies the silences of women’s and other voices left out of accounts of the past. Yet she does not write of only what has been lost, defying elegy with tributes to her mother while she is alive to read them, and finding vibrancy that remains in sources such as weeds, gravel, insect shells, and the flawed human body. Colorfast weaves its threads into poems that, like the women who dwell in them, are subtly strong enough to stand alone, while they also connect into a provocative conversation about heritage and the holds we can keep.
Rose McLarney’s collections of poems are Colorfast, Forage, and Its Day Being Gone, from Penguin Poets, as well as The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, published by Four Way Books. She is coeditor of A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, from University of Georgia Press, and the journal Southern Humanities Review. Rose has been awarded fellowships by MacDowell and Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences; served as Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place; and is winner of the National Poetry Series, the Chaffin Award for Achievement in Appalachian Writing, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry, among other prizes. Her work has appeared in publications including American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Orion, and The Oxford American. Currently, she is professor of creative writing at Auburn University.

Product Details ISBN: 9780143137528
ISBN-10: 0143137522
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 112
Language: English
Series: Penguin Poets
Praise for Colorfast:

“To the ever-widening world of Appalachian literature, Colorfast offers a new, fresh voice with necessary perspectives as it reconsiders family stories, historical omissions and generational female burdens and elegies. Colorfast is necessary and provocative, inclusive and exploratory.” —Southern Review of Books

“Rose McLarney’s writing is vibrant and magical as she considers the terrain of her Appalachian upbringing. McLarney interrogates the omission of women’s voices from history, the natural environment of the South, and the stories of her girlhood. Her diction is precise and patient as she applies a unique vision to the often-overlooked parts of the world.” Electric Literature

“McLarney (Forage) so smoothly blends the everyday with historical resonance, the natural world with the human, her Appalachian upbringing with the wider world, and philosophical reflection with blackberries and near-transparent mica . . .  At once down-to-earth and sensuous.” Library Journal

“McLarney collapses time, crafting something simultaneously region-specific and universal.” Shelf Awareness

“The book is a marvel—McLarney’s best, I think, and one of the finest, most mature, carefully constructed, and thoughtful collections I have encountered in some time.” Preposition Magazine

“Rose McLarney writes in the lineage of Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Charles Wright, bell hooks, James Agee—Appalachian poets of precise vision, unafraid to live according to the land’s own slow and knowing time. In this new book McLarney takes us further, sustaining a vibrant intimacy with what our country dangerously dismisses as the past: the capacity to love and be loved by our specific, broken places and the ancestors that break our ground. Colorfast is magnificent. This is a book for anyone who has ever longed for a home, even when it hurts. In other words, this book is for us all.” —Rebecca Gayle Howell, author of American Purgatory

Colorfast is an exquisite book. Rose McLarney looks into the hard surfaces of southern Appalachia with a scrutiny at once ferocious and patient.  She lingers in a woman’s world of textiles and dyes, minerals and canning jars, and lets us feel their stubborn glinting persistence against what is worn away, what wears us away: the passage of time, the suffering we inflict on each other and ourselves, the absences we create by not seeing each other clearly. In almost every poem there’s a prayer to see—to glimpse the real value of gems and girls, slow craftwork, grief itself. Rose McLarney is rare, her vision rare, her voice holding fast to candor and wisdom, ‘finding color in the hearts of rocks.’” —Joanna Klink, author of The Nightfields

Colorfast is a remarkable waltz . . . cool dips, wide swings, splashing colors alongside crawdads big as lobsters, near mountain curves unfolding . . . An immersive life in verse. Splendid.” —Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, author of Look at This Blue