Blue Yodel

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Blue Yodel

"A gorgeous, midnight-hued homage to Southern Gothic tradition."

O Magazine

Winner of the 2014 Yale Series of Younger Poets
Yale University Press, 2015

88 p., 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 
ISBN: 9780300210033
Purchase: Yale University Press/ Find it at your local bookshop / Amazon

Download a Press Release {PDF}

Like Whitman’s barbaric yawp, the blue yodel heard throughout this diverse collection of poems sounds a raw, deeply felt expression of human experience. At a time when empathy and compassion are sorely needed in the world, Blue Yodel calls on us all to examine our history, to reach out to the isolated and disenfranchised, and to find the humanity in every person.

Advance Praise for Blue Yodel

“Reading these poems, I think of the photographs of Diane Arbus. . . . The poetry of Blue Yodel is not easy. It presents uncomfortable truths and leaves us to wrestle with them on our own. In the course of that wrestling, we learn a lot about what we know versus what we’d prefer not to know.”

—Carl Phillips, from the Foreword

“Ansel Elkins’s writing is spare, musical, and sophisticated, and it anchors her powerful imagination, her phantasmagoric landscapes and stories, her wild figurations, her Southernism, and her moral ardor. These are poems poised by the discipline of the mind and perfected by the restlessness of the spirit.”

—Vijay Seshadri, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of 3 Sections: Poems

“A wonderful piece of work. Big, complicated, and with language that sings. I found myself waking up with stanzas repeating in the back of my head.”

—Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina

Read reviews here.