Annal: 1999 Walt Whitman Award

Results of the Walt Whitman Award in the year 1999.

Book:Carolina Ghost Woods

Carolina Ghost Woods: Poems

Judy Jordan

“A startling first collection of poems—startling because of bone-crushing violence and poverty and startling also because of the beautiful and precise language the poet brings on these scenes, violent or not…. The genius of these poems is that they insist on seeking the human despite devastating circumstances. Even the most wrung-out individual must still have a soul.” —James Tate, from his judge’s citation

The daughter of sharecroppers and raised on a small farm near the Carolinas’ border, Judy Jordan in her first poetry collection transforms the harshness of her youth with the beauty, inventiveness, and musicality of language. Physical and emotional privation, familial violence, racial enmity, and recurrent death haunt Carolina Ghost Woods, which is set amid the lush landscape of the South and enfolds the wildness—inclement and consoling by turns—of nature and agriculture. Jordan, though, reveals…[more]

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