Driving with the Dead (Hicks)

Jane Hicks. Driving with the Dead. Lexington, Ky.: The University Press of Kentucky, 2014. 82 pages. Softcover. $19.95.

In Driving With the Dead, poet Jane Hicks’s stunning follow-up to her 2005 debut collection Blood and Bone Remember (winner of the 2006 Appalachian Book of the Year), Hicks turns her rigorous eye toward the poet’s work: “the naming of what matters.” As the title promises, the poems in Driving With the Dead are poems of loss, but Hicks has no time for maudlin remembrances, for the soft, idle elegies of the sated. Instead, Hicks settles her unflinching eye on what truly matters to her—on rural cemeteries and their specific rituals, on the unraveling of marriages and of innocence, on the dead and what we owe them—with a ferocity and wit that are wholly her own.

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Erin Keane is the author of three collections of poetry. Her latest, Demolition of the Promised Land, was published by Typecast Publishing in 2014. A recipient of the Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council and a 2014 Fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute, Keane covers culture and entertainment for Salon.com.

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