“Our readers were haunted by the vocabulary of place, the granularity of diction, and the variation in form and motif sustained throughout. The duties, forebodings and recollections passed between Ora and Eli offer a cadence for our own excavations and nurture. Life above and below stone reclaims the radiance of your title.”

-editors, Airlie Press

“We’re in love with the links to the land, coal history, and the language in this collection. It evokes Kentucky coal and so many references to folklore… we’re quite simply in love with this manuscript.”


editors, Porkbelly Press

“…[T]hese poems are excellent… They present vivid images of Appalachian life, occupational lore, food lore, and place lore, in language that is precise, immediate, emotive, and sensuous. I would say that they measure up well to the standards of a regional or national literary journal, even as their subject matter places them well within the radius of concerns of contemporary folklore and ethnographic arts.”

Journal of American Folklore

“We thought the language was evocative and the subject very haunting…”

–editors, Indiana Review

“The human lives so realistically depicted in these skillfully crafted poems are as humble, difficult, and tenuous as the lives of the creatures of the natural world which appear, powerfully wrought in luminous language, throughout the entire collection. The brutality of life ‘on the wrong side of the river’ is brilliantly counterpointed by the elegance of lyrical diction and the unforgettable imagery the poet brings to each and every page of this memorable collection.”

-Larry D. Thomas, Member, Texas Institute of Letters, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate

“All of these display a wonderful attention to the physical world. The details are concrete and specific. The verbs are alive. And there is, above everything, a deep connection to place and to the land that I found quite gorgeous. I found “Abyssal Plain” to be a heart-breaking account of how domestic abuse traps people and silences the witnesses as well.”


–editors, Inch Magazine

“We were immediately taken with the ritual and superstition driving your poem, and loved that we were immediately situated within the first two lines while being introduced to such a wonderful image as ‘Dead Man’s Bells.’ We all agreed that your use of language and diction were tightly controlled and compelling, and unanimously voted that the off-set blackbird verse was incredibly visceral and mysteriously appealing.”

–editors, Rappahannock Review

“We were quite impressed by your writing—its imagery and its buried narrative…”


–editors, American Short Fiction

“We admired these poems. We found so many intriguing lines and ideas here. For example, we loved the opening to ‘Fractureslip,’ when the speaker says, ‘I imagined the flood beginning with our children / how they made the river at the beginning of time.’”

-editors, Iron Horse Literary Review

“I admire how rough concrete language takes flight in this poem, floating as if it’s been inflated with some dark divinity. Part of this is due to the poet’s expert use of the page. The weighty landing of the ending is surprising and lovely.”


-Kathleen Driskell, author of Blue Etiquette and Next Door to the Dead

“Stonelight offers the striking vocabulary of mineral, stone, earth, and the tunnels we dig into such material, literally and metaphorically.  It creates a compelling story in glimpses: letters, voices, people and landscapes surface and resurface through a richness of language that recollects the complexity of all places and lives and how they form each other through both damage and nurture.”

–Kelly Terwilliger, author of Glimpse of Oranges

“…her visualized poems become vinyl linguistic maps. I’ve been a fan of her work for some time (if you’re a fan of naturalist poetry and haven’t read Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River, put it on your to-do list).”

-Megan Bickel, art critic