Late Mowing

Author: Stephen M. Holt

Steve Holt’s Late Mowing is a fine debut and a welcome addition to Appalachian poetry, in particular the remarkable literature of Kentucky. His style is delicately intense and sharp of image---who can forget the dead young rabbit “no longer than a syllable”?---bit his poems are always pursuing something deeper than just vivid diction. For Holt, the personal is grounded in the historical, in what he calls “the names of all/the things that had been there before him”---the Native Americans and the Boones, the Civil and other wars, and especially the difficult twentieth century in his corner of the world. The Late Mowing is beautifully attuned to nature and its seasons, to humans and their voices: its poems are, in the largest sense, love poems, though without ever being sentimental; they have a taste not for saccharine but for “salt, the residue of desire.”


--------Michael Mcfee

            University of North Carolina