Blue Honey by Beth Copeland
The poems in Blue Honey document Beth Copeland's father’s Alzheimer’s disease; her mother’s short-term memory loss; and their slow departure from this world. Not all of the poems are sad; some highlight the humor in forgetfulness. Beth hopes the poems will provide comfort to others experiencing the loss of loved ones.
Beth Copeland is the 2017-2018 Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for he central region of North Carolina. Her third full-length book Blue Honey received the 2017 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize. Transcendental Telemarketer was runner-up in the NC Poetry Society's 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for best poetry book by a North Carolina writer. Traveling through Glass received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Her poetry has been published in many literary magazines and anthologies, and her work has been profiled by PBS NewsHour. She lives in a log cabin in rural Scotland County.
"The Blue Honey that flows through Copeland's collection by that name, through her parents' 'flurry of furious wings'—that flows through Japan, her siblings, an Alaskan airport, and The South, where a childhood was held by the ankles 'upside down and slapped'—that flows through a marriage, torn and mended, flows through it all with a fearless and loving spirit, with personality, humor, anger, and craft. Reader, I dare you to walk away from this elegy unmoved."
—Roger Weingarten, author of Ethan Benjamin Boldt (Knopf), Ghost-Wrestling (Godine), and The Four Gentlemen and Their Footmen (Longleaf, 2015)
"Beth Copeland's is a lyrical case study of loss and the ways Blue Honeyin which it reverberates through a family's center ... Copeland is a master storyteller; she weaves each of these narratives seamlessly through the text, and her ear for language—not to mention her eye for the most delicate of details—is a veritable honey trap for the reader."
—Destiny Birdsong, MFA, Ph.D, recipient, Academy of American Poets Prize
"The structure of Blue Honey ... reenacts the circular journey that so many of us must make, from being cared for by our parents to ushering them through the mysterious borderland known as old age. Beth Copeland (writes) with breathtaking honesty ... metaphorically fresh and formally inventive ... Bravo to Copeland for not shying away from poetry's most arduous and important task, which is to write about life in a way that makes us feel less alone."
—Sue Ellen Thompson, editor The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and recipient of the 2010 Maryland Author Award
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