The sixty-two short essays in After the Bell describe in many voices the emotional complexity and historical record of one experience most of us have in common: elementary and secondary school, from our first day all the way to graduation. Whether public or private, rural or urban, school is the first place we navigate on our own, learning how we stand apart, how we stand out, and where we do or don't fit in.
The essays are by emerging as well as established fiction writers, poets, social commentators, and educational theorists. Told from the point of view of students, teachers, parents, and administrators through the multiple perspectives or race, class, physical and intellectual abilities, and sexually, the stories reveal how memories of our school days haunt and sustain us.
Maggie Anderson University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986 Library of Congress PS3551.N3745C6 1986 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
<I>Cold Comfort</I> is a book of poems written out of deep affection and concern for the world in a dangerous time. An urbane stylist, Anderson characteristically focuses on rural and small-town America, where the events of personal history intersect those of the larger world.
Musically complex and intellectually sophisticated, Louise McNeill’s imagery and rhythms have their deepest sources in the West Virginia mountains where she was born in 1911 on a farm that has been in her family for nine generations. These are rooted poems, passionately concerned with stewardship of the land and with the various destructions of land and people that often come masked as “progress.”
In colloquial, rural, and sometimes macabre imagery, Louise McNeill documents the effects of the change from a farm to an industrial economy on the West Virginia mountain people. She writes of the earliest white settlements on the western side of the Alleghenies and of the people who remained there through the coming of the roads, the timber and coal industries, and the several wars of this century.
The reappearance of Louise McNeill’s long out-of-print poems will be cause for celebration for readers familiar with her work. Those reading it for the first time will discover musical, serious, idiosyncratic, and startling poems that define the Appalachian experience.
Learning by Heart brings together a unique and diverse collection of poems about the experience of school as seen through the eyes of America's best contemporary poets. These poets capture the educational process not only in the classroom but as it takes place in libraries and hallways, on playing fields and at dances. Alternately joyous and defiant, they demonstrate how it is that young people come to find their place in the world.
Most of the poems in this anthology were written between 1970 and 1995, a period that encompasses both the halcyon years of poets-in-the-schools programs and the primary and secondary school years of many of the poets included. Their poems define school in that most contemporary sense — “with a multitude of voices”—reflecting perspectives from African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, and Native American as well as Anglo American backgrounds, from both public and private schools in rural and urban environments.
Learning by Heart offers a profound and timely statement about schools and learning as well as the role of art in education. Finally, these poems validate that most important lesson: even the most common of experiences is worthy of creative expression.
A Space Filled with Moving
Maggie Anderson University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992 Library of Congress PS3551.N3745S6 1992 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Previous Praise for Maggie Anderson's Cold Comfort
"We are struck by the generosity of a voice that manages to bridge the gap between a personal and a world view, a balance that reveals a narrator who is of the world yet not overwhelmed by it." —Prairie Schooner
Windfall includes poems from three previous books by Maggie Anderson, along with a generous selection of new work. In this collection we can see over two decades of the growth of a poet memorable for the clarity, strength, and urgency of her voice. Anderson’s poems entangle a language, a history, and a group of belongings, and she is both at home and a foreigner in the places she invokes. Every place in these poems seems inhabitable, yet the tensions of these deceptively quiet lines develop out of the clear reluctance or inability of the poet to sit still. Maggie Anderson writes out of deep grief for the political losses of work and money, of life and limb and home in our dangerous times. She remembers and witnesses, and she also speaks eloquently for our private griefs—the loss of family, vitality and self. These poems do not shout; we listen as if following a whisper in the dark. A counterpoint to the sorrows in these poems is a complex and often joyous music, as well as a wry, sometimes self-deprecating humor which saves the work from solemnity. Her rhythms are diverse and intricate; they move deftly from fiddle whine to saxophone, from fugue to blues.