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The poems in Anna Laura Reeve's debut collection, Reaching the Shore of the Sea of Fertility
, are wide-ranging in subject-postpartum depression, ecopoetics, creative manifestoes-yet all are rooted in the Southern Appalachia sprawl that she has made her home. Seeing motherhood as a primal rite of passage that need not be a single destination, the speaker of these poems taps into universal questions of identity and myth-making, allowing metaphors to work their magic as the rituals of caring for our land, our loved ones, and our bodies combine in startling ways. She transcends expectations by discovering a third way for the mother-artist that embraces her parenthood and her art as equally vital to a life well lived. As a result, Reeve's poems evoke a raw sensibility unafraid of the wildness inherent in the struggles of home, family, and an environment just as vulnerable-and resilient-to change as she discovers herself to be.