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Tellico Blue Paperback – August 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Iris Press; 2 Ed edition (August 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916078450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916078454
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,057,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


It is important to have these strong, adze-crafted poems again. George Scarbrough is a necennsry poet who has been all too infrequently heard of late. His Eastanalle is as firmly sited as E. A. Robinson's Tilbury Town and as quirkily populated as Jesse Stuart's W-Hollow. Welcom back, Tellico Blue. -- Fred Chappell

From the Publisher

As the twentieth century comes to a close, it is appropriate to consider one of the strongest, most enduring and original voices of the rural South that have appeared in the past 50 years. Indeed, George Scarbrough has been around for most of the century, having been born in 1915 in the dirt- poor Polk County, Tennessee, of that era. Both Polk County and George have changed a lot in the past 84 years, but one thing has remained constant. It is Scarbrough's perfect pitch when it comes to the speech patterns and cultural idiosyncracies of his native ground. Layered on top of this remarkable accuracy in his portrayal of "place" is a language so rich and intricate that it is quite unlike that of any other contemporary writer.

This book was first published to considerable acclaim over 50 years ago. It has been out of print for nearly half a century, but the few copies that remain are coveted collector's items, and there is still considerable demand for the book. One might ask why publish an old book of poetry, when so many good new books are published each year. There are reasons, aside from the obvious one that good books should remain in print.

Interest in George Scarbrough's work has flowered in recent years. But one of the problems contemporary readers have in fully understanding George's work lies in his longevity. His work is spread out over so many years that most of early works are simply unavailable, even in libraries, to modern readers. And this early work is important. It is different from what he is writing today, but it informs his entire body of work and provides a glimpse of the basic source of all of George Scarbrough's writings. We see clearly in these poems the love and stress at work in an impoverished and dysfunctional family at that time in that place. Iris Press is republishing Tellico Blue, not only because of its intrinsic beauty, but because we believe that it's important for today's readers to have at least some of Scarbrough's early work available when they start to evaluate this remarkable writer's impact on 20th century Southern literature.

--Robert B. Cumming

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rod Smith on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
George Scarbrough is one of our narrative treasures, and with TELLICO BLUE's republication we are again reminded of how he started out as a poet over half a century ago. This poet has a strangely wonderful diction in which he twines the vernacular with the formal, the observant with the speculative. His isolation has saved him from faddishness and foppery -- he wouldn't have much use for a creative writing exercise, much less a workshop -- and he is an original from sole to crown. Imagine Paddy Kananaugh without the Dublin literary partisanship, or Robert Penn Warren without the Fugitive amalgamation! I strongly recommend starting with this book and feasting on as much Scarbrough as you can lay your eyes across.
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