A Wild Region

by Kate Buckley

Editors: Ricki Mandeville, Michael Miller

ISBN: 978-1-60585-233-1


A ribbon of Appalachia winds through Kate Buckley’s vigorous voice in her debut collection of poems, A Wild Region. It was my pleasure to choose her as the winner of the 2008 James Hearst Poetry Prize for the North American Review, and it is an equal pleasure to welcome this book of poems, crafted from the patterns of speech of the wild region Buckley loves and the wildness of its people, too — Molly Peacock



Kate Buckley, a ninth-generation Kentuckian, earned an MFA at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Bellingham Review, The Cafe Review, New Southerner, The North American Review, Slipstream and Spillway and in the anthologies Tide Pools: An Anthology of Orange County Poetry (Moon Tide Press, 2007) and Verseweavers (Oregon State Poetry Association, 2008). A Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the recipient of numerous poetry awards, including the Gabehart Prize for Imaginative Writing for poetry and the 2008 North American Review's James Hearst Poetry Prize, selected by Molly Peacock. A Wild Region is her first book.

When We Were Young

I was always the darker one,
dusky as a gypsy my Granny said,
with cat-colored eyes,
legs longer than was good for me,
always bruised from climbing trees,

my sister, china eyed,
skin paler than any moon –
smooth as the jazz
our parents played late at night
after we'd gone to bed.

I saw them once
moving slowly into each other
against the pale August night,
his dark hand on her shoulder,
her laughter, the brightest sound
I have ever known
sailing up and over
lighting every candle in the room.