Persephone in America (Southern Illinois University Press, 978-0-8093-2896-3) is poet Alison Townsends exploration of mothers, daughters, loss, and love. In this Crab Orchard Series winner, Townsend, who lost her own mother as a girl, is Persephone, the “one caught in the dark throat of the caverns” of grief and memory. She sees Persephone and her own girlhood reflected back to her everywhere-at the mall, at the hairdresser, and in her students, “the girl in braids standing / so close beside us I can almost feel her breathing.”
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