Beauty Strip (Woolfitt)

William Kelley Woolfitt. Beauty Strip. Huntsville, Tex.: Texas Review Press, 2014. 82 pages. Softcover. $19.95.

William Kelley Woolfitt’s poetry collection Beauty Strip offers a poet’s sure touch in language and sound. This full-length poetry collection both celebrates the beauty and history of West Virginia and laments the destruction wrought by outsiders intent on gutting the state’s natural resources. Apt biblical and historical references document the struggles and joys of the mountain people, their enduring strength and dignity. By the end of the collection, in the poem “Absentee,” there is no doubt that West Virginia has been sacrificed, which “makes an overseas company rich.”

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Sylvia Woods, a native of Clay County, Kentucky, lives in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where she spent her youth teaching high school English. Her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies including Appalachian Heritage, Now and Then, Motif, Southern Poetry Anthology III: Appalachia, and Southern Poetry Anthology VI: Tennessee.

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