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Kettle Bottom Paperback – June 15, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kettle Bottom is a one-woman rescue operation accomplished in words that say plainly, as the miners might have, yet eloquently, as only a gifted poet can, that these men and women and children were once here in the same world as ours, that they gave up the breath in their lungs and even their very daylight to fuel this world, and that their hopes for their lives and the terrors they endured, who they loved and so often lost too soon that all of it mattered. As it matters that after so many years someone finally heard their faint tapping and, with the urgency of love, went tunneling toward them. --New Pages

Kettle Bottom serves as a reminder that everything in life can be the stuff of poetry, that every life is extraordinary in some way and has something to teach us. --Appalachian Heritage

Fisher's little book held me like a vise, touched me like a prayer. It made me feel like I had lived and walked with the people in its pages. --The Transylvania Times

About the Author

Diane Gilliam'’s family was part of the Appalachian outmigration from Mingo County, West Virginia, and Johnson County, Kentucky. Gilliam has a PhD in Romance Languages and Literature from Ohio State University and an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Her first book, One of Everything, was published by Cleveland State University Poetry Center in 2003, and her chapbook, Recipe for Blackberry Cake, was published by Kent State University Press in 1999.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Perugia Press; First Edition, First Printing edition (June 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966045971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966045970
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mattiemae on July 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
What Diane Gilliam Fisher has accomplished in her collection of poems, Kettle Bottom, is rare. Hard hard stories told in the softest of voices. In the same way a whisper commands our attention when a normal voice would not, Fisher's tales stop and tempt and hold us.

I don't believe poetry books are to be read in one sitting. It is hard for me to digest them all. I read. I absorb. I read. I absorb. But with Fisher's book, I find it hard to wait. I have to pick it up again, and listen to the next whisper.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Pleska on May 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Brilliant use of language and dialect. Respectful of the people she's telling stories about. She records accurate history through magnificent storytelling. I could not put it down and read it straight through, blood and heartbeat rising with each turn of the page. "Raven Light" absolutely haunts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Holmes VINE VOICE on July 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
KETTLE BOTTOM offers various character studies set near the West Virginia mine wars (1920-21), offering an indication not only of the involving lives of the mining community but also the corporate misinterpretation of the passionate intensity of the mining families' commitment to community, family, and home. Characters refer to each other in the various poems, giving us an opportunity to learn indirectly an unofficial history of the community, and we see how even the best-intentioned outsiders (particularly the company-hired schoolteacher and a group of Ohio church ladies) fail to recognize the nobility and spiritual strength of the community. Diane Gilliam Fisher has presented a worthwhile collection of poems in this volume.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nhopps on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully written, with such poignancy and description that you can't help but be touched by the lives of the people of this coal-mining area and era. Certain passages bring tears to your eyes and instill strength in your soul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pamela S. Steele on August 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I wept upon listening to the audio recording of these poems. The voices are luminescent reflections of my own family, who lived in Mingo County. As a poet, I am in awe.
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By John E. Reilly on February 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an incredibly powerful book of poems. Slender as it is, it is difficult to read at one sitting. You read a poem like "Pink Hollyhocks" or "Milk" and you have to put it down, walk into another room to get your breathing back. Each portrait contained in these first person poems contains a world that is at the same time universal and specific. Centering on the mine wars era of 1920s West Virginia, it touches anyone who has any knowledge of the importance of community in hardscrabble violent times, and the intensity of private emotions for anyone trying to express the inexpressible.
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