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Bottle Tree, Poems by Jennifer Horne
The poems of Jennifer Horne’s Bottle Tree are immersive, bringing the reader whole into their world of experience—tactile, rhythmic, felt—and then gently returning the reader, changed.
“Poems of such light and clarity draw us into this tree of Jennifer Horne’s creation. Bottle Tree is something true, something new, which gleams a world that makes us love it, ‘despite its infidelities’ and days ‘of holes.’ This is a collection of spirits—both ghosts and the living—whistling the rims of our blue bottles and clear blue skies.”—Bonnie Roberts
“Jennifer Horne has made it her business to discern the spirits of family, love, womanhood, the Southern landscape and American history in poems that make up the vernacular sculpture of her collection Bottle Tree. In each of the thirteen sections, Horne’s poems resonate with a topic that is as elegant and imagistic as the women in ‘Chinese Women Gathering Pecans in Tuscaloosa, Alabama’ or as expansive as her epic poem ‘WPA.’ In many of her poems, Horne takes quiet pride in admitting openness to understanding the South and all the spirits that emanate from it, but must, ultimately, be corralled in a verbal bottle tree. Not going for verbal pyrotechnics, but lyrically and lovingly urging each subject spirit into its own bright bottle in the sunlight, Horne optimistically envisions a ‘change of heart —/in the old tradition, sudden and lasting.’ Her Bottle Tree glimmers in the landscape of contemporary Southern poetry, and Jennifer Horne is a welcome and surprising new voice!”—Jeanie Thompson
“Keen intelligence and the rich musicality of language make it impossible to over-praise this book. An elegant and sensual writer attuned to the sounds and senses of the environment—Nature and nature, Horne conveys how an ‘entirely ordinary, unexceptional day’ can be anything but, can be a ‘study of love’ and the ways in which it unfurls in relationships and gives meaning to life.”—Sue Walker
“Jennifer Horne has caught so many of the South’s spirits in her Bottle Tree. She knows the lush, rich colors of glass and experience at once so singular and sectional everyone hears in it a home, and as well the spare syllables of a hard-muscled language that carries the region’s hearts and haints. In the tradition of Faulkner and Welty, Horne takes her place.”—Jake Adam York
Jennifer Horne grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has lived in Alabama since 1986. She holds a BA in the Humanities from Hendrix College, and an MA in English, an MFA in Creative Writing, and an MA in Community Counseling, all from the University of Alabama. The author of a poetry chapbook, Miss Betty’s School of Dance (bluestocking press, 1997), she is also the editor of Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets (NewSouth Books, 2003) and co-editor, with Wendy Reed, of All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality (University of Alabama Press, 2006). She has worked as a teacher in elementary, high school, college, international, and prison classrooms, and as a journal, magazine, and book editor, and has received fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Seaside Institute. Married to Don Noble, a writer, editor, and literary interviewer, she lives in Cottondale, Alabama.
ISBN 978-1934999868, 140 pages, $20.00