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These sinewy, sensuous poems lead down dusty Louisiana backroads, where anything might be lurking: family secrets, rusted relics, a viper. In Copperhead, her debut collection, Rachel Richardson pays homage to the folklore and myth of an Old South that is rapidly disappearing. Riffing from Leadbelly to road signs to the Lucky Lady Lounge, from Britney Spears to broken levees to the first white woman executed in the state, Richardson weaves a rich and conflicted portrait of a place continually haunted by its past. These are poems-as-documentary, an accounting of a region’s history and future—politically charged, environmentally reverent, and always shot through with song.

88 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

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