Using family myth as navigation, the poems within In The Country of Hard Life and Rosebuds rotate between lyric pastorals and narrative forms. The speaker attempts to trace her identity along a timeline and family who remain geographically separate. In doing so, the poems echo toward the past for answers that stand indefinable in the present. The collection weaves a story of family, love, and the inevitability of the kind of loss experienced by rootlessness.
Anna Leigh Knowles is the author of Conditions of The Wounded. Her work appears in Blackbird, The Missouri Review Online, Tin House, and others. She has received honors from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the W.B. Yeats Society of New York. She holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
“A gathering of tender, beyond-wise descriptions of Appalachia and its citizenry…Anna Leigh Knowles’ poems resonate with stories of finding joy and love and connectedness in a land of considerable heartbreak.”—Roy Bentley
5.5″ x 8.5″ / 80 pages / ISBN 979-8-9890965-0-3 (2024)