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the farmer's daughter

As a writer of drama and short fiction, Edwards’ first collection of poetry is influenced by the character sketches of her earlier prose works, while maintaining a strong sense of lyricism. Like her influences, Sharon Olds, Rainer Rilke, and Sylvia Plath, Edwards’ poetry derives force from its candor and observational simplicity. A Kentucky native, Edwards continues in the tradition of great pastoral voices such as Robert Frost, drawing from his metaphorical, lyric and structural paradigms. Reading The Farmer’s Daughter evokes fields of space, filled with light and soft shadows.

It is often said that to be a good poet, you must be alive in the world, you cannot be complacent in it. Lynnell Edwards is very much alive in the world of The Farmer’s Daughter, a rich world filled with the secret knowledge of how the meat of some steers
is “stained dark, almost black, / by a toxin released to the blood before slaughter”, riddles posed by barista boys and men in Chesapeake Bay who dream of Miami, and helpful tips on what to pack for a funeral. Equally alive in the world of tenure track and
parenthood, gourmet cooking with friends and literary infighting, she is a keep observer of her world as well, inspiring the reader with the realization that his is a poet you cannot be complacent about because whenever you think you can predict where she will
go, she leads you somewhere else indeed.

—-Laurel Ann Bogen

Lynnell Edwards thrives in the art of the poetic sketch. They lyric narrative of The Farmer’s Daughter resonate and glow with compassion, intelligence, and insight.

—David Biespiel


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