news & projects

reviews of Blue Yodel

"A gorgeous, midnight-hued homage to Southern Gothic tradition."  — O, the Oprah Magazine, "8 New Books of Poetry to Savor,"

"Elkins sequences her poems like the links of a chain, repeating images and themes so that one poem seems pulled along by the one before it; but the book also feels like a length of barbed wire, cold and coiling, blooming into spurs that cut more deeply the less mind you pay them. And though chains and wire are used to restrain or contain, Elkins’s poems erase one divide after the next, but leaves their tensions intact: light and dark, past and present, and our civil and feral natures all become one." — The Boston Globe

“31 powerhouse poems….The book also feels like a length of barbed wire, cold and coiling, blooming into spurs that cut more deeply the less mind you pay them…. Elkins’s poems erase one divide after the next, but leaves their tensions intact: light and dark, past and present, and our civil and feral natures all become one.” —The Washington Post

“Her poems convey the punishing weather, latent violence, and overgrown beauty of the Southern states.” —The Paris Review Daily, “Staff Picks”

“Writing about the South, about being black, and about losing people, […] Elkins also explores the theme of the lost normalcy, considering the taboo desire for more than one lover and imagining magical reshapings of the female body….This breathtaking poeticism is revealing and provocative.” —Booklist (April 1, 2015)

Blue Yodel is a quietly visionary symphony of archetypal Southern landscapes freighted with the voices of the lost and the different….With dreamlike lucidity, the poems balance the deceptive softness of cotton fields and the hard glint of barbed wire, all haunted by Dixieland racial issues and Old Testament vengeance.” —Indy Week (March 25, 2015)

interviews & press

"Poetic distinction," News & Record, March 2015

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