Poems by Lightsey Darst
April 11, 2023 • 6 x 9 • 112 pages • 978-1-56689-673-3
In her most intimate poetry collection yet, Lightsey Darst considers the many facets of maternal power and whether it might guide us toward healing in the wake of history’s horrors.
In the nebulous space between collective and autobiographical memory lies family memory—the rituals and routines, places and plants, that bind Lightsey Darst to the generations before her. In The Heiress/Ghost Acres, Darst examines her Southern ancestry and the privilege she experiences in a country that stole others’ lives and labors, on land itself stolen into “ownership” long ago. As she navigates motherhood during pandemic isolation and political upheaval, Darst reflects on how history—familial and national—shapes parenting, and wonders if interrogating that history will open up the possibility of more ethical, transformative ways to mother. The Heiress/Ghost Acres points toward a tenable and connected future, one that acknowledges past evils while finding present, potent ways for love to counter violence.
About the Author
Lightsey Darst lives in Durham, North Carolina. She is the author of three previous books of poetry.
Selected Praise for Lightsey Darst
“[Darst] has the unique ability to express motion with words.” —MPR
“This is a vital poetry of the Deep South ripe with bones, blood, and bogs . . . a harrowing stew of lust, dusk, and summer.” —The New York Times
“Simultaneously vulnerable and self-assured, Darst’s verse will have you clamoring for everything she’s ever written.” —Bustle
“For Darst, to remember is to claim ownership of one’s pain and, by extension, one’s humanity.” —Publishers Weekly
“As they carve their way through this markedly contemporary landscape, Darst’s readers will likely have trouble separating the dreams, desires, and fears the speaker expresses from their own—the text of these poems is everything you might catch yourself thinking, and everything you might hope someone else could share with you.” —The Arkansas International
“[Thousands] has an intimacy about it that speaks to the tenderness inside the reader. . . . Don’t be surprised if there’s a catch in your throat when you read." —Signature Reads
“Dear fear, dear darkness, dear misunderstandings, dear life, dear lost-in-myself, I am no longer afraid of you. Now I have this book. I have Lightsey Darst’s amazing and ecstatic meditation on being a person in the world, I have these poems to guide me, I have her bravery and wild mind, I have her spells and wisdom, I have these incredible poems to carry with me wherever I go.” —Matthew Dickman