I received "White Trash & Southern: Collected Poems, Vol 1" by C.S. Fuqua through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program a little over a month ago with the expectation that I am to read it and post a review here and on LibraryThing.com. At this point I'm proud to say I've made it about a quarter of the way through the book.
"Whoa, a real speed reader there, Michael. What the hell is taking you so long?"
Well, it's because I read poetry books differently than I do other books. I read poetry books the way I believe all poetry books should be read - slowly, deliberately, and in such a manner that each poem has a chance to bounce around inside my brain a few days before I read another handful of them.
No one should ever sit down and read a book of poetry cover to cover in one sitting, even though the word count of number of pages could be knocked off in an hour. Poems should be read a few at a time, thought about, contemplated, reread, thought about some more, read aloud, and then placed in context with the rest of the work (because the poet has ordered them the way they are for a specific reason). So when I received this book of poetry to review (and noticed the usually large number of poems included in this first volume), I wrote the author and warned him that it may be a while before I finished his book and posted a review. Like any author, Fuqua simply appreciated that someone was reading his work and was going to take the time to review it.
Let me just say, that at this point, these are some amazing and gut-wrenching pieces that invoke stark images and emotions, and I heartedly recommend it. And don't let the title fool you. Whether you grew up in a trailer park or happened to be the rich kid on the block, we all have some of these skeletons in the familial closet.
Until Next Time...