HUNTER & HE DOG UP A HOLLER by JAMES DUNLAP

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Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 5.53.11 AM.png

HUNTER & HE DOG UP A HOLLER by JAMES DUNLAP

8.00

Fire engulfs Hunter and He Dog Up a Holler, and from the ash Dunlap pulls out a new mythology of rural Arkansas. The blood-gloom images he creates seduces with a lyricism that spikes the dark like a flame. This work doesn’t simply pardon or prosecute the bored violence of its rurality, but it doesn’t merely bear witness, either. Dunlap’s cinematic-like vision calls us to see this seemingly unpoetic place and people as what they truly are: poetry. Dunlap puts us between the elegy and the fire.

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“James Dunlap haunts me. His poems are mud-thick with striking, primal imagery and dark music plucked straight from a southern landscape: tick, gar, hickory, turpentine, leaf-smoke, and chickenwire. Here fists and fire break the body. Here animals testify to the violence of men. Here a voice hovers over grief and gratitude like the face of God before the world was built. There is a beating heart pumping deep inside these poems. This will be a chapbook I return to again and again, for it is a type of salvation and I’m begging for more.”
          —Tiana Clark, I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood

“Darkly visceral, beautifully voiced, unforgettable poems––but here’s what I admire most: James Dunlap wrestles his place and his people into a myth all their own. This is backwoods Arkansas, where boys burn down a cowherds’ only shelter-tree and see themselves, not in the cows or the tree, but in the flame. Strained by yearning and trauma, these visionary poems face intergenerational violence and toxic masculinity, never forcing answers but deepening into the muck of primal feelings.”
          —Anders Carlson-Wee, The Low Passions