The west never truly died. "Ghost Stories of the New West" is a collection of poetry from Denise Low as she offers a thoughtful collection of poetry offering a deep and thought filled gaze into the history of the western United States and the people who came before her. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Ghost Stories of the New West" is not a collection to be overlooked. "Inside Her Belly: The Spine": The creation story begins with fog./Oceans are the sky./Valleys are the dark voids.//The hero has delicate fish bones/connected to a lumpen head.//Or delicate fern-leaf vertebra/curl around uncertain middle continents./Or is this water snake's spine/Or a limestone fossil's--returning to life?
In her new collection, Ghost Stories of the New West, Denise Low not only continues to share perceptions of the natural world, but she applies her talent for tilling the surface and digging deep beneath topsoil to unearth legacies of both renowned and lesser-known archetypes of the west: Among them, Confederate General General George Armstrong Custer, scout Kit Carson, sheriff and gunslinger Bill Hickok, poet Walt Whitman, Geronimo and other American Indians, including her Lenape Indian grandfather and her grandmother buried in the Wyandot Cemetery, and "old drovers," Jake Bruner and "Great-Uncle Ed." Along with penning lines about these "ghosts," she writes poems about more recent Kansas celebrities, such as William Burroughs and Langston Hughes, and characters from her more immediately genealogy, such as "Where My Father Went after He Died."--for more of this review, see the forthcoming issue of FLINT HILLS REVIEW. --Lindsey Martin-Bowen
In GHOST STORIES OF THE NEW WEST, Denise Low displays her deft, sure touch with image and line as she brings the history of the regions alive through image and landscape. In this collection, she provides portraits in words of various key figures in her very personal understanding for the West. Her Lenape grandfather, George Armstrong Custer, her beloved grandmother, Geronimo, and so many others of the old and new West come alive on these pages among violence and beauty.